Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paris: Exploring the Sacré-Cœur

Is it summer yet?  The hail/snow/wind/rain dealio we've got going on right now in Utah is a little crazy.  I'm ready for vacation weather!  I'm taking a little vacation back to Paris today, just as a little mid-week pick-me-up!  It's so crazy that I have almost our entire trip in Paris to still blog about!  So I thought I'd start back at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, a beautiful church nestled atop the highest hill of Montmartre (and of Paris.)
When we first arrived in Paris, our plan was to take the Metro from the airport to the center of the Red Light district, where we had found a hostel.  Unfortunately, we had chosen a weekend that the Metro was closed from the airport to the city for construction!  Shug and I speak only the crudest of French, so figuring out the logistics of getting from the airport into town was a bit of a challenge...and it took us hours longer than we had anticipated.  A few buses and Metro trains later we were spit out into the beating heart of the Red Light district, with our huge, annoying backpacks and incredibly lost looks on our faces. 
We actually had pretty amazing directions from the hostel, so after a bit of a walk we found ourselves at the base of the huge hill the Sacré-Cœur was built on.  While our hostel had only the barest of amenities, the view from our rooftop was breathtaking!  We had a full view of the Sacré-Cœur!
 After an amazing meal at a little cafe (next to the brattiest American teenagers on the planet), Shug and I decided to turn in for the night.  The next day we explored the Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre.  We had to sneak pictures of the interior, but it looked like we weren't the only ones with that idea!  I felt that if I didn't use the flash, I could be forgiven for breaking the rules!
A word of advice, if you ever are lucky enough to find yourself in Paris, don't visit the Sacré-Cœur (or Montmartre, for that matter) on a Sunday.  It was literally crawling with people!  I tried to snap a few shots of the chaos, but most of the time I was just trying to enjoy the view while Photoshopping all the people out of my way with my imagination.
Even with all of the people, Shug and I managed to have an amazing first day in Paris!  The Sacré-Cœur was so beautiful and such a great place to visit to start our adventure in this amazing city!

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