Bonjour from Paris!
We arrived in Paris after two days of travelling with an overnight stop in Hong Kong. Our apartment is in the beautiful 18th arrondissement of Montematre and is very central and cosy. This area of Paris is gorgeous and we are already feeling like this will become one of favourite parts of the world. We have been out shopping for bread and cheeses, meat from the rotisserie, patisseries and a bottle or two of wine! There is so much yumminess at every turn and only so many days to taste it all! We have just come back to the apartment after a delicious lunch with a glass of wine at a restaurant just around the corner where all the locals eat - sitting at little tables on the street watching the world go by listening to lovely French accents.
There is, of course, a distinct artistic flavour to Montematre - once home to many now famous artists...Van Gogh, Renior, Dali, Utrillo, Monet, Manet, Valadon, Toulouse Lautrec - the list goes on! I love that we are walking the streets that these men and women once trod.
This morning we took a guided walk with a local around this area. Great local and historical knowledge. We saw many famous landmarks and a few we definitely wouldn't have found on our own. First stop was Moulin Rouge - the guide was impressed when I told him some of the dancers in the cabarets here came from Maclean! He thought I was a dance teacher when I said I'd taught them - I could show them a few steps!!!
This gorgeous blue door is the entrance to the building where Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo lived for some time. There were artificial sunflowers hanging in the shutters of the windows.
Up the hill - Montematre is built on a hill - and there are two remaining windmills which once provided all the flour for Paris to make bread. In Paris they have an annual contest amongst the boulangeries (bakeries) for the best baguette - and the winner gets to provide the President with baguettes for a year afterwards. I wonder if he pays?!
Outside the Au Lapin Agile cabaret - a cabaret for philosophers, poets and thinkers; not parties, can can girls and good times!
Sacre Couer basilica on top of the hill of Montematre. Very busy both times we have visited so we intend to get up early one morning and go before the crowds arrive.
One of the views from our apartment windows. Sitting here we hear church bells ringing, people talking at nearby cafes and restaurants and music played by buskers.
The Parisians we have met have all been very friendly and happy to talk even when their English is not so good - and my French is very limited. They appreciate any attempt we make to speak French - and we have even learnt a couple of new words!
Tomorrow we are going to set off in to the centre of Paris - Bonjour Eiffel Tower and Le Louvre!
Until next time, Au Revior! xx