Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Basilique du Sacre Coeur

Terry and I took the Metro to the Paris hillside neighborhood of Montmartre. This area has been known to be a sanctuary for artists through the years. When we walked up the staircase of the metro we were surprised to find ourselves in a seedier part of Paris. A Policeman on a bicycle saw us trying to get our bearings and he directed us to a staircase that climbed up the hill. He warned us about pickpockets and sent us on our way.

The staircase went up forever. Several tourists were lugging their luggage up to try and find a bed and breakfast entrance half way up. They were still searching as we passed them. We were completely winded when we got to the top, but this was our view of the Basilique du Sacre Coeur once we reached the top. Terry wanted to explore the inside of the Cathedral so I walked her up the last set of steps to the entrance and then I returned to this spot to sketch. A woman sat half wan up the steps begging for change. Another woman sat at the entrance to the cathedral begging. She looked just like the woman I saw begging at another church and I wondered if she was following us.

The spot where I sat was surprisingly peaceful. About 100 yards to my left, street performers, and musicians were doing their acts for a large crowd of tourists. Terry was annoyed that the musicians didn't have much talent. It was a zoo. From right in front of the cathedral we had a view over all of Paris. Wandering the side streets we found a boat load of artists selling their pallet knife paintings of Paris. We found the art studio where Pablo Picasso first started painting his cubist paintings. Then we relaxed in a cafe as it started to rain.

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