Paris is a walking city.
Walking in Paris is a constant revelation in awesomeness, and dog shit. What is it with all the merde? I’m sure in this day and age, people are sensitive enough to know that they need to pick up their dog’s poop? But its a thing here. Everywhere, all the time. Seriously, watch your step.
But besides that, when you aren’t looking down, there is so much to see when you look up. The beautiful architecture, the tiny boutiques that are always so interesting. You can see why most of les terrases are situated with the seating looking out at the street. There is just so very much to see.
Paris is geographically quite compact. The 20 Arrondissements wind their way from the centre of the city like a great big Escargot! It is quite compact and you can cover a lot of ground much faster on foot and as a bonus, you really get to feel this city. Walking along you bump into a tiny park with a beautiful fountain or a small lane that’s been converted into a skate park. You can wander along in Paris and literally stumble on wonderful things at every turn; a tiny shop that only sells buttons, a map store or another amazing patisserie. The flower shops are always so enticing! The tulips can be wilting but I’ll still buy them if the front of the shop looks like this:
The other day, we ventured out towards Montmartre. We ended up on Rue des Martyrs. What a great street. We stopped at the first Patisserie for the vanilla eclairs and a raspberry tart. Farine + O at 10 Rue des Martyrs is the place. The eclairs were hands down the best I’ve ever had. We stood on the corner and devoured every last creamy bite and then carried on our way. Four doors down, another amazing Patisserie with delicious looking Millefeuille. Did we fuck it up? Were we stupid to simply accept the first pastry offered? Another couple of blocks – a meringue shop. ALL LIGHT-AS-AIR, PILLOW-Y MERINGUES. Faaaaaaack. How the hell were we going to make it through this gauntlet of deliciousness? Seriously. The only thing working in our favour was that we were at least headed up hill so the calorie burning walk would be most efficient.
The Kids were up for the walk to Sacre Coeur knowing that we could take the Funiculaire up the hill, rather than walk it. I entered the Montmartre Funiculaire into Google Maps and on we walked. When climbed several steps and hoofed it up hilly streets, we made it to the Funiculaire entrance. But at the top. Woohoo! Well, lets just call that Gym Class for today. And we did have those awesome eclairs to help fuel the uphill haul, no?
Aside from the very touristy spots, Montmartre is so beautiful and charming. We couldn’t help but feel like we could be in a small Provencal town on these narrow streets. Every little thing is such a feast for the eyes. The flowers crowning the cafe terraces, the gorgeous flower shops, the cute boutiques. It was one of the best wanders I’ve ever had in Paris.
We even managed a spin through Sacre Coeur. The beautiful white church on the hill overlooking all of Paris. We marvelled at the ability of the Catholic church to find the commerce of tourism. Light a candle as a prayer for the low, low price of €10. No cash? No worries! A credit card machine has been installed at all the candle stations (of which there are plenty throughout the church). Visit the gift shop (deep inside the chruch) for what I can only assume would be a ”My friend went to Sacre Coeur and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt. A vial of Lourdes holy water thrown in for free? Vending machines selling commemorative coins. Please just deposit your money quietly, people are praying! Good to see that the Jesus business is booming?
If you ever find yourself here in Paris, make sure to schedule an afternoon to just wander and get lost on the narrow streets. You won’t be disappointed and truthfully you won’t stay lost for long!