We arrived in Paris with a week to explore the city before our workshop starts in Aix en Provence. Our apartment in Montmartre is great – close to some great bars and cafes, and just down the hill from Sacré Cœur.  A 6 day metro pass costs around 25 Euro and makes traveling around the city so easy – it is rare to wait more than a couple of minutes for a metro and the system is well signed and easy to follow – even for a pair of non French speaking Australians.

From a little bar at the top of Rue Tholoze – good beer and great view

Montmartre rooftops

Path to Sacré Cœur

Montmatre backstreets

At the top of Montmatre near Sacré Cœur is the busy tourist area where artists crowd the square and sell their wares.

Two people trying to walk past a crepe shop.

Rooftops from Sacré Cœur

Our apartment has a beautiful old oak floor and staircase. when you walk into the building you can smell the linseed oil someone lovingly rubs into it.

From our apartment window we look down on one of the busiest bars in Montmatre. I’m sure Picasso and Henry Miller and Alfred Jarry all drank here. Every night sees dozens of people spilling out onto the streets.

Sacré Cœur

The Romans lay claim to the arch, but I think the French must have invented the spiral staircase. We have been up and down so many in the last few days – thankfully Sacré Cœur has a clockwise one going up and an anti clockwise one coming down.

Spectacular views of Paris from the dome of Sacré Cœur

At night Sacré Cœur is a pretty scary sight.

Not near as scary as this strange grave in the Montmatre Cemetry…

…or the walls of bones lining the catacombs under the streets of Paris

The French are right up there with the Italians when it comes to decorative ornamentation

All through Paris are statues, ornamental gates, arches and fences and everywhere you look, beautifully decorated buildings. This all forms a backdrop to some of the most spectacularly presented humans on earth. The whole decoration thing went haywire back in the 1700’s and the Palace of Versailles  is a grand example of decorative excess. Unfortunately it was all carried out with tax payers money, bleeding the country into poverty, so the tax payers revolted and chopped off all the offending heads.

Hall of Mirrors, Palace of Versailles 

Chapel, Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles has amazing gardens covering 100’s of hectares. This is the view Louis XIV would have enjoyed as he sat to gaze out his window.

This would have been Louis’ bedroom – complete with everything except a flushing toilet

This room was used by Marie Antoinette when the disgruntled taxpayers came searching for her.

These elegant ladies in all their decorative finery were apparently riddled with nits and lice, had bad breath and didn’t smell too good, as it was believed at the time, that washing with water put germs into the pores of your skin causing nasty diseases.

This little abode was built to house the mistresses of the then rulers.

Busking with Tuba

How not to sell glasses

16 thoughts on “PARIS

    • Hi bagnidilucca,
      Thanks for commenting and enjoy Paris – I hope the weather stays like it was for us!

  1. John,
    What a glorious experience you’re having. I am so envious…. and your photos are top-notch! We could all do paintings from any one of them! Thanks for taking the effort to put all this together. It’s really special!

    Best, Bill Dunn

    • Thanks Bill,
      We were really lucky to have perfect weather for the week we were in Paris – unusual temperatures for this time of year.
      Glad you liked the photos

  2. Wow I feel like I have just been on a trip to Montmarte, loved all the shots especially the mistresse’s quarters with the insane black and white floor and wouldn’t mind having a petite booze at Tholoz (I was trying for a rhyme there) Thank you for sharing your trip.

    • Hi Pam,
      Glad you are enjoying the shots of Paris – that bar at the top of the hill was something else!
      Cant believe the weather we are having – fantastic, just a shame we have to lug suitcases full of coats and jumpers around with us!

  3. John, Sensational pics. Loved the comment about the “Ladies of the Court” – that’s probably where “uplifted noses” came into being – avoiding the pong!

    Loi Magill

    • Hi Loi,
      Glad you liked the pics.
      “Stiff upper lip” might have had something to do with that too?

  4. Great photos, liked the wide angle. Thanks
    I believe photo #4 “Montmarte backstreets” shows a location that featured prominently in the film “French Kiss” a good film to see parts of France also

    • Hi Ed,
      Thanks for your comments. I’ll have a look at “French Kiss” when we get home – thanks for letting me know
      Cheers John

  5. Fantastic photos! I was in Paris for only a couple of days and loved it — someday, I hope to go back. I didn’t get to Montmartre, so I really enjoyed your photos of there. Have fun in Paris!

  6. the perspective of some of those photos are just great. in particular, the staircase shot and the black and white tiled floor are amazing – i love shots that show the ‘converging’ effect. Keep up the good work!

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