Monday, 25 July 2016


So our last day in Paris so we thought we'd go high.

We all slept pretty well for the first time, until around 6am, so that precluded an early start but then we've had enough of those. Breakfast from the station again but from a different stand, though same brand, and her the helpful lady serving told me I could have my coffee white if I liked, been drinking black coffee for breakfast so far, which has not been pleasant. Also Marcus happy as he got his grille pommes today and lack of comment must mean it was OK.

So, off to the Basilica de Sacre Coeur as it is a high point, literally and figuratively, in Paris. Got the bus which was meant to take us within a stone's throw but on the way about 4 stops suddenly disappeared. Perplexed we (or rather I) decided we should get off and try and find our way there. I quickly discovered that a Lonely Planet pull out map is not a particularly good substitute for an A-to-Z and I was soon a little bit worried, especially as the Guru had a 'don't make me walk too much today' look in her eye.

Luckily we spied a staircase and knowing the church is up thought might be onto something. I also accosted a startled looking old lady, along of it was the way, she smirked at me and said 'yes, up, going all the way!' which I took a good sign. So up we climbed, a lot of steps and through some very nice residential bits of Paris until we eventually came to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, which looked gorgeous in the morning sunshine. Then we bought tickets and climbed up to the dome for a view of over Paris, this was absolutely spectacular, a little hazy but as it was a sunny day the views went on for miles. There church is only about 100 years old so inside the decoration is a little more Art Deco that the places of worship we have visited so far so that was interesting. Then down the steps and lunch at the bottom of the hill with a beautiful view of the Basilica.

Next it was the Arc de Triomphe , across town on the metro this time, not too busy at the big arch so didn't have to wait, up the steps again (over 500 with both visits!) And this time glorious views along the grand boulevards and the Eiffel tower.  After that it was a stroll along the Champs Elysée watching the preparation for the finish of the Tour de France on Sunday and then back to Montparnasse to catch the train to the countryside.

Slight problems with finding the right train/platform/tickets but we got there eventually and meet up with the folks in sunny Saumur.

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