Friday, September 24, 2010

What a View...and some Vintage Shopping.

Paris 11 September 2010

The day started off with a few little hiccups. We walked down the street, around the corner, up the hill, across the road, up another hill, then realised we forgot to go to the ATM just outside the apartment. My fault of course? Well we found one back down the hill and came across a gorgeous café, we stopped and had breakfast there. I had a bowl of café au lait and a piece of brioche with the most amazing jam I have ever tasted. Iain had a big American breakfast, Levi had Croque Monsieur with salad and Phoenix had Quiche Lorraine with salad.

After our hearty meals we headed back up the hill towards Montmarte. What a beautiful part of the city, this is the Artist area and they have a market at the top of the hill with cafes and artists stalls. We kept moving through the crowds further up the hill to Sacre Coeur (sorry should have some funny symbol in Coeur). When we arrive at the very top of the hill (which really only took 10mins) we saw the most spectacular view over Paris. It truly is amazing, if you ever get to Paris you must walk up here and see it for yourself. I liked it better than the Eiffel Tower. The church is simply an amazing piece of architecture and extremely huge.

From the top of the hill we took many photos and went inside Sacre Coeur, then we headed back around the church to the souvenir shops and down the hill towards Clignancourt. We walked down streets and many stairs until we reached bottom and headed towards Les Puces (the flea markets).

When we reached the flea markets I was a little disappointed to see that it was full of the normal cheapie stuff from China, but I knew if I kept walking past it and under the bridge I would come to Rue de Rosiers where I would find the Vintage Market. This is so big and you kind of need a map for it or you get lost surrounded by strange old pieces of furniture and artwork. It is also a good idea to know what you want to find there, it is quite a confusing and overwhelming place with a few little scary alleys. I however braved it on my own, letting Iain take the boys to KFC for a while. I wandered around the markets for a few hours looking for fabric, buttons and something for my sister in law to put in her kitchen. Well the fabric was a lost cause (Sorry Yvonne) the only fabric I found that I purchased was an old curtain with prints of Paris life it cost me 40euros (ouch, but I just couldn’t let it go, it is also part of my giveaway on this website). I searched and searched for buttons in several stores and found many but not made in france and I really wanted them to be vintage and French, finally I found some (so be happy Kellie). Now the something to hang in the sister inlaws kitchen was a little difficult, but I saw it and bought it (not telling it is a surprise Ruvay). After finding what I set out to find, I came across a store I had missed and found these gorgeous vintage cotton and lace huge cushion covers for 15 euros (they will look fantastic on my bed, when I get it back).

I sent Iain a text message letting him know that I had finished shopping and to come and meet me at the place we agreed. He did not hear his phone or feel it vibrate so I hung around in this creepy part of town alone and a bit worried because I only had a little credit left and Iain had none at all. After waiting for half an hour I finally saw 2 little boys and a man heading down the street, boy was I glad. And a little frustrated. We headed back to the metro but not without first purchasing 2 new carry on suitcases for the boys (the backpacks had worn out and were now too small to fit our new souvenirs :-)).

We got back to the apartment and had a little rest. We then went out for dinner to a restaurant very like Lone Star (Texas Grill or something). We were craving “meat and fries” and that is exactly what we got as well as an American waiter. I had buffalo wings, chips and salad, Iain had 3 meats, chilli con carne and chips and the boys had nuggets and chips. The salads and bread were complementary.

After our meal we decided to go and line up at the Eiffel Tower. This ended up being a 2 hours queue at 7pm and the boys were already exhausted from a day out. We went up the first lift to the 2nd floor, then had to line up again to purchase tickets to the top then it was an hour wait for the lift to the top. So after 3 hours of queue we finally made it to the top with a child that was crying from fatigue and another child that was over tired and too excited. We did the mandatory views and photos from north, south, east and west, then headed back down the tower, this was much faster. Then we walked to the metro and arrived back at the apartment just after midnight.

It was a VERY LONG day for all. But worth it.

I will be posting tips on all of the things to do in Paris and how to hopefully avoid long queues.

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