Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 7 – Sacre'-Coeur, Moulin Rouge and Sushi

After the late night at Jules Verne, your Ramblers were slow to rise today.   Our goal was to journey up to Sacre'-Coeur (Sacred Heart), the famous Catholic basilica that has been in existence since the 6th-9th century (depending on your definition of existence).  Luckily, our new favorite Metro line (Purple 4) went right to the spot.   As we climbed the mount (we passed on the funicular ride), we were having flashbacks of a ramble to San Francisco years before where a morning coffee run felt more like training for an Ironman.  But I digress. The views of Paris are wonderful from the mount.

After getting our fill of basilica, we wandered the little area of Paris that surrounds it (Montmontre). We stopped by a lovely café, La Cremaillere, for some lunch.  It had good TripAdvisor rankings and we were not disappointed. Ahmed our English, French, and Italian speaking singer/waiter was very entertaining and the steamed mussels and Italian salad we ordered hit the spot. It was also nice and shady.

Ahmed our Waiter

Our walk down the hill led us to Moulin Rouge, the cabaret made famous by the movie of the same name. We also quickly realized it is located on the edge of Paris’ red light district, but since Rambler Jane was not interested in a lap dance, we searched the nearby local version of Target (they had some of everything) for a French/US power adapter, and regretfully headed back to the hotel without one.

(Side note – if heading to France anytime the temperature will exceed 78 degrees, check on the air conditioning quality of your hotel since most air conditioning we encountered had the mechanical capacity of a 1950’s era Soviet car – aka they couldn’t cool a mini-bar let alone a hotel room. This is especially true if you stay on higher floors where heat rises.)

A smaller cousin to Moulin Rouge that was closed for renovations

Disco across the street from Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge--looks rather sedate during the day.

One Block Away
After a rest and freshening up back at the hotel, we set off for some dinner with a short detour to visit the FREE BAR our hotel maintains for guests.  We chose a sushi place that got good reviews for 'something different'.  We wandered over to the high end shopping area in this part of the city where our sushi stop was located (after discovering the restaurant didn't open until 7:30) to check out Le Bon Marché, which looks to be the Saks of Paris. We saw the top end of top end watches this go around, with a price tag of €109,000 and it was in a department store no less.  The sushi restaurant was called Blueberry. The food was very good and had some subtle twists that were interesting.  After dinner, we wandered down to the Seine and walked along its banks as the sun set. The streets were packed.

Always a Sushi Must

Rambler Jane Reprising Her Coffee Photo from 2013 with Cold Beer on a Hot Day


One really nice thing about Paris this time of year is that the sun does not set until after 9:30 and does not really go away until after 10pm,  so it is nice to wander around and eat outside in the evening but you realize soon you are staying out and eating late. This is not conducive to early rising or a good nights sleep, so your Ramblers were a little late rising most days.  Tomorrow we have be up and at 'em though because we need to catch a train to Epernay for the Champagne experience.

Until then, keep rambling.

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