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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Travel Tales: Climbing Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur Basilica, Paris

In the 18th arrondisement of Paris is the area
known as Montmartre. 

Here in the Place du Tertre is the old square
where artists try to lure tourists to sit for a
portrait.  This area makes me think of  van Gogh,
 Renoir, Monet, Toulouse-lautrec, Gauguin, Degas
& Picasso who all lived and worked in this area.

This is a village-like area of Paris
with quiet and charming streets to explore.

Montmartre is the highest point in Paris
and topping the hill like a jewel is the
Sacre Coeur Basilica.
The building was built with a gleaming
white travertine stone that bleaches with
age.  So much nicer than the limestone that
was used for so many churches that is now
black from pollution.

Visitors to the Basilica can climb the tower,
271 feet up.  One climbs a damp, dark, spiral stone
stairway and when I reached the top, a bit out of breath
and dizzy from going around in circles, I looked
at my brother who gave me a sheepish grin and said,
"If I told you how high it was I wasn't sure you'd
have climbed it."

The climb was worth it.  The tower offers
panoramic views of Paris.

After we climbed back down to the street
my brother told me he didn't tell me about the bat
that hit into him on the way up because he was
afraid they'd have to get a crane to get me back down.

Good thinking, I'd say...

1 comment:

  1. I was at Montmartre many years ago. It is a beautiful place. I was only able to spend one week in Paris but I loved every minute of it!


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