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A Sultry afternoon in Montmartre

We decided we would give Montmartre another shot today. When we first visited Paris 2 years ago, we were less than impressed with the very touristy Place du Tetre and have not been back since. I had read that there was another side to La Butte and we were determined to find it.

Today was a very hot, humid day with a projected high of about 30 celcius. I know that I could never spend my vacation time in the summer in Paris. Pounding the pavement in this type of heat is not our idea of a good time, but since we are here today, we have to make the best of it.

We took the 67 bus to Pigalle metro station and walked up (and I do mean up, that's the only way to go in Montmartre, unless you're going down, of course!) a little street called Andre Antoine across from Place Pigalle and all the cute little sex shops (not!). We found rue Abesses and decided to walk towards the Cimetiere de Montmartre. We spent a very peaceful 90 minutes wandering around the cemetary, looking for famous dead people and enjoying the shade from the numerous trees. There was a light breeze blowing and the heat was not hampering us so far. When we came back out onto Rachel Avenue, we walked back onto Clichy so we could hook up to rue Lepic. We happened upon the infamous Moulin Rouge and Den took his obligatory pictures of this tourist haven. We climbed Lepic, passing the house that Van Gough lived in for 2 years and then further on, the one Toulouse-Lautrec lived at at rue Tourlaque and Caulaincourt. We stopped at a little bar cafe called Autour du Moulin across from the Moulin de la Galette for lunch and a rest from the heat. The steep hills and the strong sun were starting to get to us. There were only 6 little round tables at the top of a street called Tholoze and one of them called our names. The waitress was very funny and warm and we joked with her throughout our leisurely lunch. I had a "planche mixe" of cheese and sliced meats, served with tiny cornichons and crusty Poilane bread. Den had le cheeseburger avec frites. His fries were obviously homemade, lightly herbed and delicious. Beer, wine and water completed the meal and we munched happily away, watching Paris below us. Den ordered a lemon sorbet as part of his 2 course menu and it was the perfect dessert on a hot sunny day. The sorbet had plenty of tiny crunchy lemon bits and it was cold and just bitter enough. Our charming waitress brought us some complementary digestifs, rum mixed with different fruit, a house specialty. She chose mango for me and ginger for Den and the drinks provided a little kick for us to continue our tour. Lunch was 39 euros, which was priceless for the view, the fun conversation with our server and the rejuvenating meal we enjoyed.

We continued on rue Lepic where we passed the Moulin de la Galette club, which inspired Renoir's Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette. We turned left on rue Girardon and saw the "Walker through Walls" sculpture. We were then told to wait a few minutes as there was a scene from a movie being filmed along Girardon (Den asked, and it will be called La Raffle). There were actors in WWII dress, soldiers and people wearing the yellow Star of David cross on their clothing, so it must be a film about the occupation of Paris. Den took a few clandestine pictures before being told to stop!

We finished our walk on rue des Saulnes, where we saw Paris' last remaining vineyard and the Lapin Agile, an old cabaret where artists used to hang out. We had been walking for almost 4 hours in the blazing heat and decided to call it a day. We really enjoyed our time in Montmartre and will have to explore another part of it on another, cooler, day! We took the metro home and had a little well needed rest. We had thought of going to the 7th for dinner at the Florimond tonight, but it's so hot and we just can't face going across town right now. Den wants to take some night pictures from L'Arc de Triomphe, but that will have to wait for another night. I love being so close to so many little cafes, bars and restaurants, where we can decide on something light and easy later on.

Tomorrow is our cooking lesson with Daniel Rose from Spring ~ stay tuned!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 25, 2009 12:00 PM.

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