Kenney and I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport on Monday around 11am (that's 5am for those in the States). We met our driver who took us to the flat we are staying in- 7, rue Livingstone! He dropped us at the door and we made our way up 7 flights...luckily they do have an elevator, but it was so small that Kenney and I had to go up seperately. We have pictures- it is pretty funny. We met our greeter for the flat who left us with a dozen roses and a bottle of wine (I know, I can almost see you guys thinking that it is such a waste on us). =) After settling in a little bit, we decided to walk down to a little grocery store so we could pick up some snacks and drinks for the flat. We made our first french food purchase from this little shop that had a store front in the grocery store and also one facing the street. We had two baguette pizzas (the ham and cheese was delicious and we will have to try to recreate...it almost tasted like it had cream cheese on it) and for dessert, one of my favorites, tarte au pomme. Now, I have tried to make tarte au pomme in the States and after two failed attempts, I gave up. I am now energized to try it again...so delicious with a shortbread-like crust, thins slices of apple and an apricot glaze over a bed of purree apple (like an applesauce). Mmmmm...just typing this makes me want other! =) After grocery shopping, we came back to the flat, put our purchases away and ate lunch. Trying to head a warning of not taking a nap so we could get on Paris time, we decided to go out and conquer the Butte de Monmartre where the Sacre Couer sits- AMAZING!
We were stunned by the beauty of it all- from the window of our flat it was incredible, but words can hardly describe it's grandeur up close. We were accosted by several men who claimed to be "artists of the church" which made us a little nervous because they came toward us during the one lull in tourists, but as we hurried on our way, we were relieved to see other tourists up ahead. We climbed all the stairs to the top of the hill where the cathedral stands & decided to go in. The cathedral unfortunately does not allow photography inside, but we were stunned by how grandiose it was. In the center of the church was an altar where the priest would give Mass...around the altar and the pews was something of a racetrack which lead you from the front of the church, around the side and the back, and then up the other side toward the front where you come in. There were no less than a dozen individual vignettes around the perimeter of this track. Each vignette was set up with a mini-altar for a specific saint or person to be worshipped- St. Pierre, the Virgin Mary, etc., and each altar had a set of pews set up. The cathedral sells votives and larger candles for people to light in remembrance of loved ones, and there were candle stands all over the church.
After we made our way out of the cathedral, we started wandering around the rest of the Butte. We will have pictures to share of everything we saw when we get back! One of the best spots we found was a square in which dozens of painters sit to paint and sell their wares.Note: This is a photo taken by the people who were here before us...we can't upload our photos because it is a Mac and we can't put our photo card in it. So, we thought we would use the photos left by these people to give you an idea of what we saw.
Then we stumbled into a movie shoot! I didn't realize it was a movie shoot at first, so I was startled when a man started yelling and shoving a little boy into a van, but Kenney said that he heard them yell "Accion!" and saw all the movie cameras...I somehow thought the movie cameras were news crews. ;-) Today we wandered around Paris- we went to Galerie Lafayette which is a mall with Tiffany-like stained class cathedral ceilings and we had lunch there. Then we started just wandering around and we saw the Academie de Musique (pardon the spelling, I will have to look up spelling and exact name for a lot of places when we get back), and we stumbles upon the Louvre- STUNNING! =) After wandering around the grounds of the Louvre (the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays), we purchased a bagguette with meat and pan au chocolate from a vendor and sat down along the Concorde to watch the sun set...in view of the Eiffel Tower! Once the sun set, the Eiffel Tower lit up which was just fantastic to see. We have so many amazing pictures to show everyone!! Tomorrow we are going to Versaille, Montparnasse, Ille St.-Louis, and we plan on taking a Bateaux-Mouche Cruise of the Seine followed by ascending the Eiffel Tower.
A toute al'heurre!