Shearwin's in Europe 2017 travel blog

Sacre Couer from near the carousel - not an original

Toddlers fascinated by workmen

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul

Marie Of 10th eme

Had to replace the ice cream cups

Day 28 - Thu 15 Jun 17

I was awake from 0425hrs but did not rise until 0715hrs to shower and walk to the corner artisan patisserie for pastry's which we had with coffee in the apartment.

Kaye dressed and we departed at 0930 hrs to walk to the metro at National Assembly. In doing so, we retraced some of our stay in Varenne.

Our objective for the day was to revisit Basilique du Sacre Couer and then to wander the streets back to the apartment. When arriving at the station Abbesses we were very thankful we were not carrying cases; there are no escalators and the exit is via circular steps with eight or nine levels.

We climbed to the church as opposed to riding the furnicular, walked the inner area of the church before then descending to the lower area near the carousel. The church has a wonderful history, has a dominant position overlooking the city and has impressive architecture and fittings. While a significant church ( designated by the Pope and therefore a Basilique) we believe we have seen many more impressive.

Our wanderings of the streets were initially southward to the square Montholon. The square is primarily a park with play equipment and facilities for the residents of towering, very French, buildings surrounding. An immediate observation was the social gathering of African nannies with their "charges" in tow. We sat and observed for a while not sure we would be happy as parents for such a child care arrangement.

We then walked up Rue La Fayette to the Eglise Saint Vincent De Paul. The church looked in need of external cleaning and and the grounds were in need of some maintenance; in one area, a council worker was washing and "perfuming" an area probably occupied at night by street people. We viewed the interior of the church which is dark; mainly by design but also assisted by the fading of the decorations. The internal design, based on two levels of dark marble columns was impressive and uniformity of the marble colouring with the floor gave it a uniqueness we have not seen before. Refurbishing the fittings, including the altar would lift its appeal significantly.

Walking South East along Boulevard de Magenta, we came across a market built in the style of many we have now seen in different areas of France. The interior and the shops were not as pristine as others but we did find several where we bought dinner for tonight of Lasagne and moussaka and cheese.

As we passed the front of Gare de l'Est and down Boulevard de Strasbourg, we noted that shopping was more prolific and the crowds larger; mainly African. As we crossed between Strasbourg and Rue de Faubourg Saint Martin, we came across the Marie of the 10 Arrondissement. Squeezed between lesser buildings this very large structure for a Marie seems to be an anomaly; I couldn't imagine finding any other arrondissement with such a grand building as a Marie. We visited briefly walking two levels via the grand staircase noting the large ballroom which presently is storing election voting boxes, with ballot papers still inside.

We continued towards the river and Ile de la Cite but only got as far as the Fontaine des Inoccents, near the newly developed Chatelet Les Halles. Here we stopped at your typical French corner restaurant and shared a salad but not the wine. Service and the salad were good. We decided not to visit the new development which was under construction when we last saw in 2013 in the understanding we would when we returned to the Marais area. An observation we made was the higher concentration of commercial shops, restaurants etc and crowds as we came down the Boulevard towards the 1st Arrondissement. More so than the area we walked yesterday which we would describe as more upmarket, gentrified!!

As normal the "wearies" set in and we decided on taking a beeline to the river, crossing at the walking bridge, Ponts des Arts direct to the apartment arriving back just before 1500hrs.

We rested until dinner time, enjoyed half of the dinner servings we had purchased and undertook some planning for a trip to the area of Verneuil l'Etang, (50kms) to the Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte. It was 1145hrs before lights out and Kaye still has not seen her lights on the Eiffel Tower view.

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