On our second day in Paris I woke up feeling dreadful. I did think when we were in London that I had the beginnings of a sore throat and by our second day in Paris this turned out to be a rather nasty head cold - luckily I had packed the usual paracetemol and some tissues. I coughed and sneezed my way through the next two days before beginning to feel normal again. Anyhow, we were on holiday so I wasn't going to let a few sniffles and sneezes affect me.
After we breakfasted we headed for this winmill which was literally around the corner from our apartment. Montmartre used to have many windmills dotting the landscape but now only two remain - this one which is now a restaurant and the other which is in private ownership.
Near to the windmill we saw this stencilled street art.
We decided to make our way to the famous Moulin Rouge - the home of the can-can or as the Other Half told Our Daughter "A place where girls dance with hardly any clothes on!"
We passed a wonderful florists shop.
The roses in particular were stunning.
This was my favourite bouquet - yellow, cream and with a hint of pink.
We came across the Cafe des 2 Moulin.
Before arriving at our destination - the Moulin Rouge! The home of cabaret and the can-can. When its doors first opened Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned to create advertising posters - which are now more famous than the Moulin Rouge itself!
Toulouse-Lautrec was only 36 years old when he died in 1901 from his addiction to alcohol and complications caused by syphilis! He had a cane with him at all times which he utilised to carry his alcohol so that he could always have a drink!
Last year when in Paris we took a few snaps of the Moulin Rouge from across the road. This year we investigated this famous cabaret from close quarters - well, the outside of it anyway!
Near the doors are tiled replicas of the Moulin Rouge.
And in the entrance there are a few of what I imagine to be copies of some of the famous art-work created by Toulouse-Lautrec depicting show girls doing the can-can.
They certainly had that Toulouse-Lautrec style about them.
Is this the famous dancer, Louise Webber or Jane Avril or neither!
We decided to have a mooch around the area and came across some street art.
This one looks as if it was quite good until somebody scribbled all over it!
We walked past the art nouveau Metro entrance of Paris's deepest station - Abbesses. A station which we later utilized a lot during our stay.
We saw some lovely little cakes. I was tempted to try one but with my head cold my taste buds weren't up too much and so it would have been money wasted. In any event Our Daughter said she would prefer an ice-cream and I agreed that it would be a good idea as it could soothe my aching throat! Sorry about going on a bit about the cold - makes me sound like a right old whinger - no comments, please!
We arrived at our destination - the Sacre Coeur. This was our third trip to Paris - the very first holiday abroad that the Other Half and I had many, many years ago now was to Paris and last year we came back for a few days - we fell in love with the Montmartre area - hence our return visit. We just had to go and see the inside of the Sacre Coeur this time. We queued with many other tourists but in fairness the queue did dissipate quite quickly. Last year we had visited Notre Dame where you were allowed to use your camera. At the Sacre Coeur there were notices everywhere stating that no photoography was allowed - I was slightly disappointed with this particularly as you don't have to use flash photography. It is however, the outside of the Church and its location with panoramic views over Paris that makes this Church the attraction that it is. It is a real gathering point - a place to sit on the steps and watch the world go by whilst being entertained by the sreet performers.
This guy with the football was here last year when we visited Paris and his act was just about coming to a close when we arrived. Our Daughter had been enthralled with him last year and she was initially upset thinking that she would miss his routine. As the Other Half said "He's here to make money so he'll be bound to start again shortly!" Lo and behold about five minutes later he started his act!
The steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur.
The guy with the football is very agile and super fit. He does a routine with a football on top of one of the plinths near the stairs - the surface that he has to work on is very small - one slip and he could do himself some serious injury.
How is that physically possible!
How he keeps his concerntration with the amount of people watching and kids screaming I don't know.
To end the act he climbed onto a lamp-post and carried on displaying his skills.
Whilst he is performing he had an i-pod playing Michael Jackson's "What About Us."
A truly remarkable performance. He received a loud cheer at the end which was richly deserved! He must make quite decent money from performing here - it must be one of the most visited tourist spots in Paris. Conversly, when it rains he must hardly make any money at all!
We walked back down to Montmartre village.
We sat at a nearby cafe and had some drinks and people watched. In the alleyway next to the cafe was this poster / street art. The Other Half asked Our Daughter who the guy on the bike was. She said "Napoleon Boneparte, of course - or as you call him Bony Parts!" So she does listen to some of the funny things that the Other Half tells her!
The Other Half joked that Napoleon might have defeated the Russians if he had had the use of one of these scooters!
Above the poster was a barred window and who should crawl out but this pusscat who sat there watching the people go by from a very good vantage point! As I'm typing this one of our own furry friends, Millie is sat right next to me on the chair with his head on my lap - purring and dribbling away!
You can take a little train ride around Montmartre.
It was a swelteringly hot day and we were persuaded by buy an ice-cream!
Having toured around the area for quite some time I was flagging with my nose streaming and generally feeling yeuck and so we continued back to the apartment.
Passing wonderful shop / cafe signs.
Some street art.
Before climbing up 120 steps back to the apartment!
We had a light evening meal consisting of ham, cheese, tomatoes and fresh bread followed by youghurts and left-over strawberries and cherries from our breakfast! If only I ate this healthily every day!
The view from the apartment - you can see the sails of the windmill which is now a restaurant - mentioned at the beginning of this post.
We watched the sky changing colour.
We watched some more of the news on Sky - it was still depressing stuff about the riots. The best thing to do was retire to bed and hope that I would feel better in the morning!
Until next time,