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joyce in paris: part two…
Posted in paris, pia's photos August 12th, 2010 by pia

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Day Two was quite the adventure – we started at the lift that goes up to the Sacré Coeur I thought it would be a good idea to go on the funiculaire so that once up the biggest part of the hill, we could slowly wander the rest of the way and get a bit of an idea of the hilltop area of Montmartre. However in hindsight,  we should have just got a cab right up to the top because the lift was packed and people were pushing each other out of the way, it was not a pleasant experience.  Then the walk with the wheelchair up the rest of the hill was a bit hairy due to the cobblestones. I never realised how “cobbly” Montmartre is, somehow more so than the rest of the city. Anyway, once up there we instinctively headed as far away from the crowds as possible. I picked a nook that looked out to Montmartre, surrounded by the lovely ‘new’ apartments and here we rested for some time, taking in the scenery and enjoying the sunshine…

Then, in perfect synchronicity the bells of the Sacré Coeur began to chime. It was really beautiful and the moment seemed to go on forever. Joyce couldn’t believe her ears and eyes…

a page from the book I made for Aunty Joyce.

The view.

The Sacré Coeur was hidden behind the other buildings but the bells were so loud, nothing else was audible, not even your thoughts.

Left: A page from the book I made Aunty Joyce. Right: Joyce was very taken with the design detail of the ironwork in one particular apartment building we were standing near  – she has a fabulous eye for detail and design!

Lots of fellow wanderers in Montmartre.

After wandering to the base of the Sacré Coeur and taking in more of the beautiful scenery and Paris rooftops, we decided to stop for some crêpes at La Boheme. It took forever to be served however there was a street performer nearby, singing her heart out in the style of Edith Piaf, which made the waiting worthwhile. The crêpes were delicious (I also had a cidre – my second favourite French beverage, the first being cremant). We watched the street performer pack up her gear on the back of her scooter and go on her merry way…

Then we did something wild and crazy – we went on the Montmartre train! For those who don’t know, the Montmartre train is this railroad-like mini vehicle that goes up and down the Montmartre hill, loaded with tourists. We figured it was the best way to get a feel of the area since we were not able to walk it. When we hopped on Romain turned to Joyce with a beaming smile on his face and said, “Secretly, I have always wanted to try this” and I had to agree, as touristy as it is, I too had wanted to see what it was like.  My report is that it is a bit noisy and bumpy, but that is to be expected. Here is a photo of Romain and Joyce having a lovely chat in the train during its pit stop in front of the Moulin Rouge

After that we decided to get a cab back down to Bastille to stop for an apéro somewhere. We got a great taxi driver who was very happy and chatty . Romain and he had a great old time chatting in the front while us girls chatted (in English) in the back, not forgetting to gaze out to the Paris street scenes every so often. I overheard Romain telling the cab driver about Joyce’s story and the driver couldn’t believe it, he was so happy for her that she could make the trip and see Paris for the first time.  When he dropped us off we walked along Boulevard Henri IV for a while until we found a lovely looking café called Chez Margot. We sat outside, it was a perfect evening, and we enjoyed out apéro at dusk. The food on the menu looked really good, as did the meals coming out and going to other diners so we decided to stay for dinner. We were not disappointed, it was all delicious. Romain and I usually like to dine in a place at least 3 times before it goes on our ‘favourites list’, and also before we recommend a place to friends, but this restaurant really ticked all the boxes – the service was great, the food was delicious, I definitely recommend going there if you are in the area.

So that was our second day out in Paris together. As part of the book for Joyce, Romain and I made this fabulous kitschy postcard on the instant photo machine (I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow) with photos from our outings together, then I stuck the postcard on a page in the book. Voilà

Next up: day 3 and 4…


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14 Comments

  1. Will says

    Hey Pia! I’ve seen the Montmatre train before but never been on it, so it was fun to read your experience of being on it. I also found the lift-thingy that takes you up to the Sacre Coeur a little unpleasant – but it was worth it for the beautiful building and view at the top.

    Roll on posts for day 3 and 4…! Thanks for sharing.

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  2. nolita*wanders says

    I love the detail of the ironwork! 🙂

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  3. Catherine says

    Dear Pia. Everything about this post sums up you to me. Your blog is such a gift – to me and so many others. Thank you for sharing these humbling special stories. C

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  4. Marina says

    It’s getting silly – every one of these Paris posts makes me well up with tears reading it. Such a happy time. Romain sounds like such a gentleman!

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  5. b from pergolina says

    i agree with catherine… your blog is a gift. it is so personal and generous.

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  6. nadia says

    so lovely pia, you describe your time so well i almost forget that i was not there with you!

    August 12th, 2010 | #

  7. Vida Howard says

    i sit here in Oklahoma and read your blog and dream. What a glorious time for Joyce and you. This is the loveliest story made even more lovely because it is true. I will dream of Paris and street music and wine tonight. Thank You.

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  8. Lin says

    Montmartre is my favourite arrondisement. What an amazing experience for both you and Joyce. I’m happy that she made it to her beloved Paris! Cheers.

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  9. becka says

    Thanks for these lovely visual journeys into your days spent in Paris! It’s an African winter here at the moment, and I love seeing people blog about European cities I miss. 🙂 mmm, sunshine and cobbled streets coupled with good food and company.

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  10. Tracey Cove says

    What beautiful posts! Thank you for sharing Pia : )

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  11. Kitty @ lavender playground says

    What a lovely adventure~ wish I can go to Paris someday, thanks for taking us there via your photos and vivid descriptions

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  12. Joan Browning says

    Oh what a lovey post..how wonderful for Aunty Joyce. I travelled once with my 87 year old Aunt..a mediterranian cruise for two weeks and a car trip in Ireland and UK. Wonderful. I am getting to be old enough to have a niece take me!!

    August 13th, 2010 | #

  13. Suzi says

    Your photo from the top of the stairs took me straight back to our stay in Montemartre last year. It is soooooo touristy, but if, like you, you make a little detour, there are, as you write, so many authentic experiences to be had. Yum!!!

    August 14th, 2010 | #

  14. Marjolein says

    I’m totally in love with that Paris stamp box. Where did you buy that?

    September 4th, 2010 | #


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