Paris je t'adore

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What I did

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, November 18, 2012

As you get off the metro and start walking up the stairs to the exit, you are given a little taste of how your visit to Montmartre is going to be. They spiral up, and up, and up. Visiting Montmartre requires thunder thighs and a strong heart, but if you can get past this little hurdle, it is well worth seeing. Despite the steps from the metro spiraling up for what seems like forever, the stronger and stronger smell of crepes is an incentive enough to keep on going until you reach the top! And as seems to be the way in every place of Paris, you are bombarded with the hustle and bustle of cars, bikes, buskers, merchants and people going about their daily lives. But something about this place in particular, Montmartre, strikes you as different, somehow more chilled out. 
Walking through the streets is a treat for the senses, both with wafting smells of all types of delicious treats, and the colourful work of the many artists who reside in this part of Paris. Not that it's easy walking, as Montmartre lies on a hill stuck in the middle of Paris, there are plently of steep cobbled streets and steps you really test your fitness.
Truthfully, there is no set way to see Montmartre, as wondering the streets alone is enough of a joyful and interesting experience. However, the true gem is the Basilica. I was lucky enough to catch the Sacre-Coeur during mass time. At which point, I wasn't aware of what a magical and rejuvenating experience it would be... On entering the church, the sheer magnitude of the stained glass windows and the artwork on the ceiling is magnificent. But along with the choir belting out immaculate hymns and the priests conducting the ceremony, mass at the Sacre Coeur is an absolute must! I was pleasantly surprised that I could actually find a place to sit halfway through the morning mass. I had in my mind that it would be heaving, and not to say it wasn't, but it wasn't busy to the point of spoiling the experience.
After leaving feeling incredibly spiritual, at peace and contented, it was so much fun just wandering the cute little shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafes to gawk at Paris's notorious franchise. If you love anything with 'Paris je t'adore' on it, this would be the place to pick up your little nick-knacks for the folks back home...
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