Thursday, April 16, 2009

Funiculi, Funicula(r)

Intrepid tourists that we are, L & L and I descended into the Trocadéro métro station and braced ourselves for a relatively long journey over to see the basilica of Sacré Cœur. Since we couldn't ascend Eiffel's tower, we thought we'd get some elevation up at Montmartre.

The funicular heads up the hill towards Sacré Cœur.

We got out of the subway at the Anvers station and ran the tourist gauntlet that is the rue de Steinkerque. Shop after shop of kitsch. I often imagine what future archeologists would think if they dug up a place like that. For all we know, priceless bits of ancient Egyptian pottery are what's left of the souvenir shop outside a popular temple.

Since L has a little trouble with his knee, we took the funicular up the hill to the church. There are two tracks, and one car descends while the other ascends. Unless one car is out of service, as it was when we arrived. There was a bit of line for the car that was working, but we didn't have to wait too long for our turn to go up.

Sacré Cœur's landmark white dome.

Even with the wind and the clouds, the views were pretty keen. For some reason, however, I have no pictures of the view. Being a transportation nerd, however, I do have pictures of the funicular.

We skipped the Place du Tertre and headed back down. L & L rode since they had métro passes. I walked down to save myself a métro ticket. It was getting late in the day, so we headed back to their hotel before going out for drinks on the rue de Rennes. We went to the Trait d'Union, an old café that's been hipped up since I was last there. We had a couple rounds and many laughs with our waiter, Jean-Luc, who obviously liked to have fun with the customers (I am called Jean-Luc, you know, like zee famous Capitaine Picard).

We had reservations for dinner at the Café Louis-Philippe in the Marais. I had a lentil salad followed by veal in a mushroom cream sauce. Tasty. After dinner, we took a walk over to the Ile St.-Louis for an ice cream cone, then continued over to Cité and around the impressively lit cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. We ended up back on the left bank at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop (it was open until 11:00 pm) and browsed a bit. L even found a couple books that she wanted.

L & L wait to board the funicular at the top (you can see L in the red coat), with the dome of Sacré Cœur behind.

It was late and I was tired, so we headed toward my hotel, which wasn't far, and L & L found a taxi on the Place Maubert. We said our good-byes since they would need to leave early for their flight home the next morning. It was much too short a visit, but we had a great time.

I got back to my hotel and into bed. I had all of the next day in Paris on my own. More tomorrow...

9 comments:

  1. GREAT shots, comme d'hab!!! Sorry you couldn't get up to see the TE the other day...
    Take care,
    Leesa

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  2. I've really enjoyed your pictures and the tour of Paris! Looks like Springtime in Paris is shaping up nicely.

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  3. I don't think there was funicular when I went to Montmartre in the 70's. Your Paris posts have been great!

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  4. this is all exciting for me to read.
    Someday I want to see this place - it sounds better to be with someone who 'knows the ropes"
    Can I hire you out as a tour guide?

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  5. Hmmm, the Trait d'Union...
    Is that where you dine and dash?

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  6. Great photos, Walt!

    I had to laugh at "zee famous Capitain Picard" because I named my new French Bulldog puppy Jean-Luc. Captain Picard has never been on my radar, I guess. ;-)

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  7. Oops!

    Sorry, forgot to sign my post.

    BettyAnn

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  8. leesa, and sorry we couldn't get together! Next time!

    lewis, yes, it's very spring-y right there now!

    ginny, I think there was; the funicular has been operating since 1900, with two complete renovations since.

    ur-spo, If you buy me a meal, I'm there. ;)

    chris, very clever!

    bettyann, cute name for a puppy!

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  9. Hi Walt....I met Leesa last week in Paris...:-)

    We went to the Sacre-Coueur last Thursday, we climbed the steps to the very top of the Dome, and went into the Crypt too !!

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