Saturday was our last full day in France for this trip, at least. Paris has way too many sights to see in 3 days, so we had to be a bit selective, arbitrary, or random, however you want to put it.
Our first destination was the Place de la Madeleine. The visit was not just for the impressive church, Eglise de la Madeleine, which is built in the blocky, rectangular style of a Greek temple. The area surrounding the church houses a number of gourmet food stores. There is a store that sells only mustard. Another store specializes in caviar. Also in the area around the Madeleine are the famous gourmet food stores, Fauchon and Hediard.
Fauchon and Hediard are similar types of stores. They both feature the best of the very best foods available, all displayed with impeccable style. Uniformed, neatly groomed, and manicured staff hover around waiting to help you with your selection and purchase of their exquisite items. Fortunately we only had a small backpack with us that limited our purchases. Otherwise, we would have needed a bank loan to cover the purchases and the excess baggage charges for the return flight.
From Place de la Madeleine, we headed to Montmartre by way of Pigalle, or the red light district. Leaving Pigalle Metro station, we walked along Boulevard de Clichy and past the famous Moulin Rouge. We learned that moulin means mill, so Moulin Rouge refers to red windmill, as in the one they have on the roof. I guess it was obvious in retrospect!
On to Rue Lepic, we headed up the hill past old windmills and into an increasing density of tourists. When we reached Montmartre, the now narrow, winding streets were gridlocked with pedestrians held tight between the old world shops that lined the way. Moving up the hill, Basilique du Sacre Coeur came into view peaking above the buildings. At the cathedral, we toured inside and climbed up on to the tower which provided expansive views of a haze covered Paris.
Leaving the street performers and crowds of tourists at the base of Sacre Coeur, we randomly wandered down hill until we found a Metro stop. The Metro took us back to the room in time to get dinner. We ate at Pinxo, a modern, small plate style restaurant located near Jardin des Tuleries, the garden between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. They serve every item in three identical small portions on one plate.
They say this is to encourage sharing. With dinner for two, it might be to encourage fighting. The only seats we were able to get were at bar, overlooking the food preparation area. It was perfect for us, as we got
a view of what was going on in the kitchen and got menu advice from the talkative and friendly line chefs in our area. The excellent meal capped our Paris experience, though I left overstuffed and Becky was still hungry (just kidding!).