Paris: Day 5, Part 2. Montmartre & Moulin Rouge.

 Soooo, where were we?  Oh yes, on to Montmartre for our self guided walking tour!

After relaxing in the room for a couple of hours & a wardrobe change, we hit the subway for our walking tour of Montmartre.  I found this on the forum, from a member who had recently visited Paris.  It seemed like it hit all of the high notes that we were looking for in Montmartre, so away we went.

The streets were crowded & this looked it would be an uphill battle:

We arrived from the subway stop and headed towards Sacre Coeur, the first stop on the tour.  Starting at the top & working our way down, instead of the other way around.  On our way up to Sacre Coeur, we decided to stop in for a bite to eat.  We stopped in one place & used their super sketchy bathroom.  After 20 minutes of being ignored, we decided to get up and leave.  We opted for an indoor restaurant with glass windows, so we could check out the street views.  Plus they were playing Jack Johnson, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong.  I ordered the mixed grill & expected seafood…Apparently mixed grill was more “random meats from the grill”, but it was good so I was happy.  Brian ordered a shrimp & pasta dish, and about 5 bites in, we decided to trade meals.  The most exciting thing we got at the restaurant was three whole cubes of ice with our drink orders!  We were thrilled 🙂

After eating, we resumed our walking tour.  We reached the staircase that is featured in a famous French photo.  Lotsa stairs.

When reaching the base of Sacre Coeur, the streets were crazy-crowded & we had our first encounter with “the bracelet men.”  These African guys came up to us & tried to put yarn bracelets on our arms.  We ignored them, didn’t make eye contact, though they were pretty aggressive.  One even grabbed Brian’s arm.  We kept rolling past them though, and that was our worst experience with these characters.

What an amazing view!  Wow.  Just breathtaking.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones that thought so.  The steps and whole area surrounding Sacre Coeur were PACKED.  And remember when we went to Le Cinquante?  The very same guitarist was on the steps of Sacre Coeur playing for the crowd:

After going into the church and checking things out, we decided to get this show on the road.  We did have our SECOND walking tour of the day to finish…That’s right, I said second.  Who’s scheduling this stuff again?  Oh right.  That was me.

And we are off!  Back down the hill…

And what we encountered along the way…..

A mime…

A courtyard area full of cute “as seen on TV” types of restaurants/cafes…

Unique bicycle storage…and a cute guy in a pink shirt…

This super cute cafe…I am totally printing a picture of this place for my girls PB Teen pink & green bathroom…

Au Lapin Agile…the bar where Picasso hung out.  Brian was especially excited to see this place because his favorite play, “Picasso at  the Lapin Agile” written by Steve Martin, was set in this very place. 

The handsome guy in the pink shirt again.  Is he following me?

These super cute apartments, and another flight of descending stairs…I sure am glad we started at the top…

The first of the two famous ‘moulin’ (windmill) in Paris.  Now a very cute restaurant.  Too bad we were on a mission…

A back alley where we could have been robbed, raped, or murdered…

The building where Picasso lived for 8 years…

Yet another flight of descending stairs…are we there yet?

Stopping for a frosty beverage…

And we made it!  The Moulin Rouge.  People were literally lined down the block waiting to get into this place.  Brian and I thought about going, but looked into tickets and they were pretty pricey for what we read was a cheesy show & mediocre food.  So, we were content to admire it from afar…a.k.a. the 24 hour bar across the street.  This whole area was very NYC-Times-Square-in-the-1980’s cheesy.  Definitely catering to an ‘adult’ market.  But it was worth the experience to go, and we had a fun time getting there on our walking tour.  We would recommend it to anyone, and you are interested in duplicating, check out CaptainPlanIt’s trip review on the forum (or comment on this post & I can send you the link).  Our only caveats would be to maybe skip some of the alleyways if you are going at dusk.  A couple of times, we felt a little uneasy.  But during the day, this should not even be an issue!

Day 5 was amazing.  Day 6-8 we headed to Reims, France to catch a stage ending for the Tour de France.  Stay tuned…

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