Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paris: Legos and Montmartre

Thursday, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas was an absolutely gorgeous day. After super high winds and rain earlier in the week it was so nice to see the sun!

Grandma and Grandpa took the boys to a Lego exhibit at the Hotel de Ville that we'd seen on a sign earlier in the week.

I'm sure it was nothing compare to Legoland, but seeing as how we've never really seen ANY Lego exhibit they thought it was pretty cool!

There's a dragon in the picture below...

After visiting the Legos there was a little ride out in the courtyard.

It's really fun how much Paris really does Christmas.  There was a Christmas market near the Eiffel Tower, one by the Sacre Coeur (see below) and others of our group found various ones in other places as well.

After that they took the boys to a gluten free bistro for lunch!  Yes, we actually had quite a hard time finding gluten free food in Paris...

Bethany and I set out that afternoon to the northeast part of the city in search of Helmut Newcake, a specifically gluten free bakery.  We found it, but... they were closed.  Sadly they had said on their facebook page they would be open, but when we got there we found a hand written piece of paper in the window that said closed for Christmas and the day after.  Of course the one day we tried to go...

So we continued on as planned to Montemarte... only to have our metro train give an announcement in French that had all the passengers around us chattering.  We didn't have a clue what was going on, but thought we heard the name of the next station.  When we got there the train stopped, all the lights went off and everyone got off to a very crowded station.  Guess that train wasn't going anywhere soon!  Thankfully there was one connecting train that would take us a bit nearer our destination, albeit to the side rather than the front.

We stopped in at a regular bakery for some fresh croissants, had about 5 police cars come wailing up the streets with the very European sounding sirens (and quite loud in those narrow streets with tall buildings on each side), and then walked up hill.  And uphill some more!

  This was the view from the top, looking out over Paris.

Turn around from the view and you were still looking up at the church called the Sacre Coeur.

There was a huge long line to get in and someone told me it wasn't that spectacular inside so we instead wandered around the Christmas market set up in the courtyard.

I bought a couple of pretty ornaments from this shop and chatted with him for a minute while Bethany was looking at something else.  It was interesting to hear about his life in Paris and that he was running this stand for his father while all his friends were out partying, but he had too many bills.  Sounded pretty responsible to me!

We wandered the market as we waited for the sunset.  We were not disappointed...

Sunset from Montemarte

This is the more typical view of the church when you come up from the metro station that is closest.  There is also a little cable car off to the left so you don't have to climb all.the.stairs like we did to get there!

And then we walked back through the VERY touristy street to the metro and went home.  Only an hour later than we thought we'd be back.  Whoops!  But it was a very nice day out!

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