Sunday, October 16, 2011


I seem to keep returning to the view from the southern side of Montmartre.  On this prominent hill (north of the river), people constructed the Sacre Coeur Basilica
(Basilique du Sacre-Coeur), partly as an act of devotion, partly in response to a growing secularism and the perceived threat of science.  When the Tour Eiffel became famous for suddenly providing one the highest point in Paris, some felt that a church ought to have that distinction, so they built Sacre Coeur on the pinnacle of Montmartre.  It is in fact higher (hill included) than the famous tower.
The two stairways leading pilgrims and tourists to Sacre Coeur offer spectacular views.  This site and its village have been a serious tourist trap for a full century.

The hill is practically covered with cafés, shops and steep narrow streets.

Young couples are usually absorbed in each other, in spite of being seen by hundreds.

Le mur des je t'aime (The Wall of Love; "I love you" in 311 languages)

As you descend to the SE, you might be lucky enough to encounter some truly amazing musicians.

Cell phones are ubiquitous with the locals European tourists, and are becoming increasingly common with North American tourists (frequency bands differ).

Whenever possible, I stop to look at a church.  If nothing else, its sanctuary will offer quiet solitude.