We woke up on Wednesday feeling massively satisfied that we’d managed to fit in so many attractions already. We decided to head over to Montmarte on the metro. At 130m high, Montmarte is Paris’ highest point, and is often referred to as The Artists District. The journey from George V to Blanche on the metro was very straightforward and we both found the metro very good value- we basically got a single ticket which was €1.80 each and meant we could travel anywhere as long as the journey time didn’t exceed 1.5 hours. Excellent value.
Our first sight after getting off the metro at Blanche was the iconic Moulin Rouge.
Obviously I couldn’t resist having a little go at the can can outside – given that Moulin Rouge is where the can can originated from. Jacques Offenbach, composer of The Can Can is buried nearby.
Using our trusty Lonely Planet and Eye Witness city books, I navigated us on a great walk around the Montmarte area, passing some fabulous sights along the way.
^ Le Moulin de la Galette- Renoir painted his master piece Bal du moulin de la Galette here
^The passer through Walls- Le Passe-Muraille is the title of a story by Marcel Aymé about a man named Dutilleul who discovers that he can (you guessed it) walk through walls. The statue is situated in a place named after Marcel Aymé in beautiful Montmartre.
Lapin Agile- Pablo Picasso’s 1905 oil painting, “At the Lapin Agile” helped to make this cabaret world famous.
^ All this walking and exploring is thirsty and hungry work, and what better place to stop for a crepe and vin rouge than Woody Allen’s favourite cafe, featured in his film “Everyone says I love you”
We hadn’t realised it but we’d actually climbed very high, and down all the little streets there was a view of Paris.
We were now right up as high as the Sacre Coeur – and wandered round to the terrace over looking Paris below. We could see the Montparsse Tower, and Gare De Nord station, but the Eifell Tower was just round the corner so wasn’t on the skyline.
After a quick visit inside we decided it was definately lunch time. Today was going to be our traditional French meal, and we had spotted a lovely looking bistro right on the market square so worked our way back to it, picking up several souvenirs en route!
I opted for the menu of the day- Escargot (snails!) to start, Chicken with mushroom sauce with potato daulphinaise , and a cheese board to finish. Keith went for French onion soup to start and fillet of pork for main. It was absolutely delicious and the service was brilliant. We had wine and beer and the whole thing came to £60. Amazing.
We’d walked for miles, and feeling happy, fed and watered, we decided an afternoon nap was definately in order so we made our way to the hotel and snoozed, wanting to feel refreshed for our river trip on the Seine that night.
We woke feeling refreshed and headed back towards the Eifell Tower to pick up a river boat for our evening cruise. We hadn’t pre booked, but it didn’t matter- we went to the first kiosk under the Eifell Tower and paid our €13.50 and booked onto the 21:30 cruise with Vedette Du Pont Neuf. It was handily located next to a nice looking bar and snack bar, and was a great spot for people watching for a couple of hours.
The hubby (haha) did good and got me some champers to celebrate the end of a lovely break, and before we knew it, it was time to board our lovely boat. Unlike a lot of the other companies, our boat was a lovely open topped wooden boat and the journey was a highlight of our trip. Seeing Paris turn from dusk into night, and all the twinkling lights was wonderful.
We got off the boat deliriously happy, it was wonderful sailing down the Seine at night, you can understand why it’s called the city of light.
We bought crepes and a small bottle of wine and went into the Trocadero gardens, for a mini picnic. We’d been told the Eifell Tower would start twinkling on the hour, and at 23:00 we saw it, crepe and red wine in hand. It was gorgeous!!
All that remained for our last night in Paris was a stroll hand in hand, back to the hotel, via the Arc De Trumph.
We had the most amazing break- we saw all the sights that we wanted to see, ate and drank some amazing food and drink and fell in love with Paris, particularly at night!
We were fairly impressed with Eurostar, it was nicer than flying, and fairly stress free and easy. We didn’t think much to the hotel, our room was dated and had lots of loose wiring, no access to drinking water or tea and coffee making facilities and the lack of shower curtain meant every time we took a shower the entire bathroom flooded. But location wise was good, although if we go again we will go for a hotel in the Latin quarter.
Our main honeymoon is in America in August, we fly to New York and travel on Amtrak trains for 3.5 weeks through Washington, Chicago, Denver, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff National Park, Hollywood, San Fransisco and Yosemite National Park.
Now the wedding has happened we can grab a few motorhome breaks in the meantime- in fact we’ve just booked tickets for Jimmy’s Sausage and Beer festival at Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich which has got Chas and Dave and Topload performing, so we’ve booked a caravan club CL down the road.
Until next time