#2, France, May 8, 1983

img252We were on our way to Montmartre, getting pretty good at finding our way with occasionally a little help from the img316gendarmerie. Contrary to what many people said about the ‘snooty Parisians,’ we didn’t encounter even one person who was anything img264img259but pleasant.

And there it was! The Sacre Coeur high on the ‘Mont’ and beautiful. Montmartre fulfilled our expectations with its many artists doing their thing and many tourists buying their art.

We visited the Cimetiare de Montmartre, not able img270to find anybody famous, except for two img267outstanding cats—

 

 

 

 

and saw the Lapin Agile, a place of literary meetings in 1910.

This area used to have many windmills although there are only two ‘authentic’ ones remaining, but there was the famous Moulin Rouge—-‘Red Windmill’ which made us hum THAT tune.

 

We popped inside for a moment, conjuring up img272the ghost of Toulouse-Lautrec.

img273Moving on we walked to the Eiffel Tower, img275that icon of Paris. It was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 and meant to be only temporary. At first Alexandre Eiffel was vilified, but the tower apparently grew on the Parisians, and they decided to img282keep it permanently.

 

 

 

 

It was the world’s tallest building until 1931 when the Empire State Building was built in New York! There were some splendid views from the top!

 

 

 

Once again we managed to take the Paris Metro, this time quite a ways to Versailles. The img290img292grounds, gardens and fountains are extensive and the Chateau is lavish. The centerpiece of the Chateau, or course, is the Hall of Mirrors. It was where the Versailles Treaty ending World War I was signed. Those French Kings knew how to live! Too bad they couldn’t have shared a bit more with the ordinary folks—-so it goes.img294

Tomorrow we’re heading south by train to meet our friends from Berlin. We shall continue seeing France by piloting our own boat on the Canal Lateral du Loire.

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