I think I shall take a slightly different approach to blogging my Parisian travels. Instead of doing “Glimpses of…” posts and the occasional story, I’m aiming to do more of a chronological retelling, although I’m sure I’ll do some photo/food posts too. Do let me know if this idea is horrendously unwanted and makes you want to throw pencil sharpeners at my head. (Just don’t aim for the toe, okay?)
A few posts back I mentioned the fun that was arriving at my Parisian hospital on my second day in Paris, as I’d been instructed to do the day before, only to find it closed. After some irked Skyping to my parents from the Gare Du Nord McDonalds, I was determined to make something lovely of the rest of the day. As I stood up from my McDonalds seat and turned to leave, I saw something in the pastry case that simultaneously made me giggle and my blood run cold.
The Hopital Lariboisiere is in the Montmartre area, so I decided to walk up to the Sacre Coeur* and sit in on its Sunday Mass (where I would hopefully not be smited this time).
Arriving at the Sacre Coeur, I was intrigued to discover that the dome of my head matched the dome of the church. Clearly, Paris and I were fated to love each other.
The service lasted two hours and was well worth it, despite the fact that I couldn’t understand a word. The music and singing are what I remember best, as they were utterly beautiful and heightened the experience magnificently. In fact, I should admit that when the first strains of choral singing began, I started crying. The combination of my emotional state and the beauty of the music made it impossible not to, so I just went with it and held a tissue to my face for a goodly length of time. I have no idea what the people beside me were thinking…
After this, I meandered through the Place du Tertre (which is apparently the place to go if you want your portrait done, and if it weren’t for the logistics of getting paintings home to Australia, I might have) and tried to sneakily photograph a typical Parisian cafe scene complete with croque madame:
Right around the corner from the Place du Tertre is the Espace Dalí, or Dali Museum, which was fantabulous and may be covered in more detail in a future art post, if a future art post happens to exist… in the future.
Music features a fair bit in my recollections of this day, as before the church music I bopped along to Beat It by Michael Jackson while walking through the tourist-centric streets of Montmartre, and outside the Dali Museum stopped to listen to a man on a double bass play Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sounds of Silence.
I also really enjoyed wandering around the less touristy streets of Montmartre, peeking at the buildings and shops and cafes. I ultimately thought it appropriate to finish my day of holy and artsy sightseeing with a trek through Paris’ sex district, predominantly for the obligatory snap in front of the Moulin Rouge.
But instead of boring you with another photo of me, let’s look at something yummy, shall we?
Can someone please tell me why Lenotre’s treat, which cost 6.60€, was utterly boring and disappointing, while a supermarket chestnut cake which cost 2.60€ for two was like a party in my mouth? True chestnut flavour, caramel fudgy notes in the outer cake and gooey silkiness in the middle… even though I ate both (what, did you expect any less of me? There’s no fridge at this hostel, am I supposed to let things go to waste?) cold rather than hot, these were divine.
It’s always good to end a day on a tasty note, right?
*Okay, so rushing up steep hills and lots and lots of stairs in order to get me to the church on time, so to speak, probably wasn’t my cleverest move. And doing things like that every day during my first week in Paris probably has something to do with the less-than-stellar status of my toe right now. Three more weeks, toe! Just hold out for three more weeks then you can have all the surgery you want!