Today was so full! So so so full. We decided to head up to Montmarte and check out the gorgeous Sacré Cœur. This involved a metro trip north and when we got out of the train we were confronted with a very long line for the elevator. Well we are no strangers to stairs so we started climbing…and climbing and climbing. I’m not sure how many stairs we had to climb to get out of that station but it was probably at least 8 floors. Then we walked up a hill for a little while before being confronted with 8 more flights of stairs to the base of the gorgeous basilique. Did I mention it was really warm. But we were fine and entered the church (no photographs allowed so there are no interior shots) and walked through the sanctuary. Although it was somewhat crowded we were still both struck with the beauty and splendor of the interior. Gorgeous frescoes, mosaics, scupltures, even a painting of the first saints including Ignatius – Scotty’s old friend. It is a place that inspires hushed voices and wonder.
Once we’d made our way through we exited and took in the view. It was alright – not exactly what we were expecting as we couldn’t see the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triumph – you know the major Parisian landmarks. So we wandered around the church until we realized that in order to get up to the top of the roof, you have to go DOWN some stairs and enter the crypt. So we made our way down, only to ascend again…over 300 steps to the top!
And this is where we discovered the views we’d been expecting. Glorious panoramas of the Paris including the landmarks. We picked out our neighborhood. Spied the Stade de France. Took in the tightly packed metropolis. It was amazing. Definitely worth all those stairs!
There are a whole lot more of these pictures, including more shots of Sacré Cœur on our Flickr Page. Following our descent back down to the metro we made our way over to Invalides – the old military hospital founded by Louis XIV. At this point it was getting late in the day and I had been battling a touch of food poisoning all day so we walked around and checked out the exterior and courtyards but will return for the interior at a later date.
Our next destination was the apartment where we quickly changed and got ready for a BBQ at an old friend’s house. It was held in my friend’s gorgeous family home and the guests were all French. Everyone was extremely kind, well-travelled, articulate (especially since they were all speaking in their second or third language when they talked with us), and interesting. It really was the most interesting dinner party I have ever attended. So interesting in fact that both of us had no idea that the hours were slipping by and didn’t look at our watches until 1:20!!! We had to dash out of there and quickly make our way to the metro to catch the last train. We were home around 2 and tumbled into bed exhausted but thoroughly satisfied with our very full day.