Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sacre’-Coeur

Sacre’-Coeur is the white Byzantine-Romanesque church that sits atop Paris' highest hill. It was built from 1876, after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1919. I braved the flight of stairs to go up to the top. Along the way there are many peddlers who try and sell you wares. Beware of Afrikaners who try to place handmade bracelets on your wrists and keep saying, "No problem. Free. Free." It's free until you walk away and you can't undo the knot. I'm weary of strangers approaching me anyway, and have no problem saying "No" and walking away. But I saw many naive tourists who were too nice to say no and got caught in this trap. It's true what they say - the best reason to come here is for the magnificent view of the city. According to our guidebook, visibility is about 30 miles across the rooftops of Paris on a clear day.

There was a service in session when I entered the church, but I was still able to walk around and look at the inside of the church. Since it was my first time, I wanted to check it out. But Uwe having already seen it decided to stay at a local restaurant down at the bottom of the stairs. Uwe had a cold beer and Astrid had some food to munch on so both were happy.

At first glance we didn't see how it was possible to go up that many flights of stairs with a baby and a stroller. However, after we left, we saw that there's a gondola ride (off to the side) that you can take up to the top.Another photo of the view from a different level.A view of Sacre’-Coeur in it's entirety, from one of the flights of stairs.Below the church, after you descend all those flights of stairs, at the base there's a playground. Here's Astrid with her much older boyfriend. She ran up to this boy who was sitting down and placed her head on his lap. He was a good sport (must not be at that age yet when he thinks girls have cooties), and seemed to like Astrid as well.Astrid standing in a playhouse.It also had a merry-go-round which Uwe and Astrid took a ride on. Round and around we go.

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