Monday, October 3, 2011


Today we head for Montmartre in search of the flea market, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Porte de Clignancourt.  Taking the metro, we debark at Barbes Rochechouart and are immediately struck by the difference between this area and central Paris where we have spent the last couple of days.  The streets are busy, but not with tourists.  There is an edginess and many youth hanging around; we take a minute to secure our belongings as we have been told the area is ripe with pick pockets.  We work our way toward Sacré-Coeur, but are unable to find anything resembling a flea market.  There are trinket and t-shirt shops galore, but these are not what we are looking for.

Sacré-Coeur Basilica sits on the highest point of the city and affords the most wonderful views of all of Paris. Upon entering we are told there is no photography inside, but everyone, and I do mean everyone, is not only blatantly taking photos, but using flash.  Having always been a rule follower—something my husband relentlessly makes fun of me for—I resist the temptation to break out my camera and take a photo of the breathtaking mosaic in the apse, Christ in Majesty.  Until we are about to leave that is; and, of course, what happens?  I get caught!  Seriously, there are people taking photos left and right, but the minute I whip out my camera I am sharply told “there is no photography allowed inside!”  I am publicly shamed, and am horrified.  No sooner has my admonisher turned and walked away than the woman next to me takes out her camera and quickly snaps a couple of shots.

Mr. Man and I head up Ovoid Dome for the view of the city; deciding not to count the steps as we climb.  On a clear day, this view must be spectacular; as it is, even with the haze, it’s pretty incredible. 

We leave Sacré-Coeur and wander around a small outdoor artists’ market before stepping into the Dalí Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dalí sculpture in France.  While I’m not much of a fan of surrealism, I have to admit that I’m intrigued by Salvador Dalí.  His series on time, which is represented here with a sculpture, entitled Nobility of Time, struck me with its description: “Dalinian time is not rigid; it is one with space and fluidity.  When we are involved in pleasant activities or in work that absorbs all our attention, ‘time flies’, but when we are mired in boredom or discomfort, it drags on.  Dalí’s limp watch no longer ‘keeps’ time but the speed of our time depends only on us.”  The speed of our time depends only on us...

We have dinner at Il Campionissimo, a new pizza restaurant with over 70 options.  You can get traditional pizza or pizza with foie gras, and just about anything in-between.  We arrive later in the evening, after the crowds, and are joined by our friends from Atlanta, Mike and Mari who arrived toda and will be joining us in London.  We are having such a good time that it takes us a while to realize we are the only people left in the restaurant and that the owners are patiently waiting to close.  We walk back to the apartment along the cobble-stoned streets feeling happy and full.

For more pictures click here.

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