25 March, 2012

Last night ended up being another night where I just crashed after dinner.  No will to keep writing.  I've definitely gotten to that point in the trip where I don't need to see anything else monumental, I'm just happy to wander around the city.  I decided to take another of those bus tours around the city.  The other tour company has several routes that the first one didn't.  Let me also say, Paris is obviously a weekend getaway spot.  I'm sure the beautiful weather didn't hurt either.  So to say that the crowds have pretty much tripled would not be an exaggeration. (at least not too much of one!)  So I'm glad I into all the major sights earlier in the week.  As we drove past places I'd already been, it was just a sea of people.

So you ask, what did I see that was new yesterday?  Well I made the trip out to the neighborhood of Monmartre.  This neighborhood, once the home of poor artists and the bohemian heart of the city, now bustles with tourists.  At the top of the hill, Sacre Coeur sits gleaming.  It's a long way up there.  Instead of having to climb all the steps, there is now a little funicular that allows you access to the summit.  

From the base of the hill, you can look up between the buildings and see Sacre Coeur looking down on the area below.  Which is kind of funny when you know what it sees below.

It is the area known a Pigalle.  This is the center for all things sex.  It's also the home of the Moulin Rouge.  Granted it was daytime so a little less glitz on show, but I think I'll stick to the movie for my romantic notions of life in this quarter.  Historically though, the Can Can was invented in the Moulin Rouge and it was created as a place for the rich to be able to "slum" safely.  It was made world famous by Henri Toulouse-Latrec and his paintings. 

Then it was back to the Latin Quarter and time for my second concert at Sainte Chapelle.  This one was so packed, they had chairs the entire length of the chapel.  It was a lovely concert though and I'm glad I went to two.  Last of all it was back to my new favorite restaurant and some beouf bourguignon.  Julia Child had it right, this is the best ever.  (though I tried it at another place here and it wasn't nearly as good) 

Now as I write this, it's Sunday and my last full day in Paris.  I've gotten off to a slow start keeping the blog going this morning.  But today will be another bus ride around a different part of the city and shopping!  By this time tomorrow I will already be at the airport and ready to head home. 

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