Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Vacation: Paris, Day 2

Continuing on, with...

Paris, Day 2

Although we left America on July 12, we arrived on the afternoon of the 13th, making our second day in Paris July 14, which is, of course, Bastille Day!!! More on that in a minute.

First, we had to do a little posing with the beret that Elaine got in Place du Tertre:

Then we set out to see the Cimitiere de Montmartre (Montmartre Cemetery).

The inscription at the top says "Petits Freres des Pauvres" (Little Brothers of the Poor)

Stray cats: not unusual

Just hanging out over here with my bro, Emile Zola
(who, by the way, isn't still buried here... we saw him the next day at the Pantheon)

Cemetery graffiti: "Hatons de vivre avant que la mort nous ratrappe (sic)"
(Let's hasten to live before death catches up to us)

A lovely lei for the statue...

This tree seems to have grown straight up through this poor guy
(whose name and dates were entirely worn off of the stone)
One of the most interesting things about the cemetery was that people are still being buried there. We saw one that was just added this year, with the remains of the flowers still atop it.

We ate at Un Zebre a Montmartre (visible in the photo to the right of the balcony in the Day 1 post) and were pegged as Americans immediately, because the waiter spoke English to us right away. Which is fine by me. Birk had steak tartare, and I had a ham and cheese omelette. The poor waitress who brought out the food accidentally spilled fries on Birk, and tried to offer us free coffee. They had spots of chalkboard paint on the walls, with the drink and specials menus, and the regular menu was on portable chalkboards (one set in English, one in French) that they set out around any table waiting to order.

Later in the day, we trudged up Montmartre to see the fireworks from Sacre Coeur. We got there shortly after 9pm, and it looked like this:

I really wasn't kidding about the incredibly late sunset.
We waited around and watched the crowd form around us, and we were entertained by a street performer with a soccer ball and a lamppost.

Taken around 9:45pm
Taken around 10:45pm
Then... the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower started. Which... we couldn't see. There's a clump of trees that obscures that end of the city from the view from the steps of the Sacre Coeur and the area in front of it. BUT we could see lots of little shows all around the edges of the city, which I thought was really neat. They were too small to show up in my photos, though.

Then... some people (organized, pre-planned) in the crowd had hand-held versions of the real fireworks. Like, the big ones. The real deal. And they barely went high enough to be safe before going off. And it was the first time I've been really impressed by fireworks since I was two and saw them for the first time.

That's the best video I got. But it was really fun. On our way back to the apartment, we stumbled across something I hadn't expected to see...

M. Collignon's market from Amelie! Neat! (And I recognized it before I saw all the Amelie posters in the window to the left.)

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