No Nicole on this day, maybe her hair would have gone frizzy?
Another Miserable day in Paris but our spirits could not be dampened, we set off to stroll the streets of Montmartre - only a 10-15 minute stroll from our accommodation, with the aim of getting lost and exploring the Montmartre district. The theme was a little bit art/history and a little bit foodie...
The district was to prove quite hilly, but with frequent stops due to extreme weather conditions - this was not to be a problem. Montmartre is a beautiful part of Paris featuring stunning homes and cobbled streets. It seemed to fit my ideal stereotype of Paris..
A few landmarks along the stroll included the Moulin Rouge, Cimetiere de Montmartre and Van Gogh's home.
La Tour De France! The eventual winner (not the Aussie) in front
We reached the main street only to spot a shop I had long awaited - Le Fromagerie woohoo (Cheese, and lots of it...), and a few other shops with goodies that we decided would need to be sampled on our trip. We decided to drop back in and make a few purchases on our way home.
After this stop we visited Sacre Coure? yet another beautiful Cathedral but this one sitting on what was one of the highest points in Paris, therefore affording us a fantastic vista over Paris. Yet more rain and a few more scenic stops, a ramble through a touristy collection of shops and cafes then back to stock up for our simple dinner of fine french cheeses, fresh bread and fruit. Ahhh this is the life :)
After dropping our goodies off we could not resist the urge to catch a little sport and what better way to top off our visit to Paris than by watching the end of the Le Tour de France which was finishing in Paris that afternoon (time unknown to us).
Cobbled streets of Monte Marte
We shuffled down to the Champs Elysees following the growing crowds then found a spot (they were scarce) where we could sit and await the finish. Luckily the rain had abated and the sun had come out just in time (enough for a mild case of sunburn for the unprepared). Well we stood patiently having been given a few different indications of ETA's for the race. During our wait we were entertained by crowd watching, and a very long parade of advertising floats making their way around the path that made up the completion of the race. We found the advertising parade amusing - it was like Eurovision Song Contest meets one continuous ad break as the (many) sponsors presented polished young ladies and lads dancing on floats waving blow up batons. Well there is only so much advertising one can take but finally - after about 2 hours of standing watching ads - the competitors neared.
One of two original wind mills
You may think why bother but we had absolutely no idea what time it finished and darn it if we were going to miss the end! Especially since there was a potential Aussie victory. The completion of the race was a little bit confusing for us and all of the English (only) speaking people around us. We understood the completion involved a lap around Champs Elysees and the Arc du Triumphe but we did not realise there were 8 such laps and so the race took another forty minutes or so for completion. Well there was plenty of excitement and we were disappointed to know that the Aussie was so very close to victory but alas we battled the departing crowds very slowly and made our way back to the hotel to rest the feet and enjoy our earlier purchases.