Sacre Coeur and Salvador Dali
What a fabulous day! K and I made the journey up the Montmartre to the Sacre Coeur today. This had been one of my favourite spots back in 1983 - (the first and last time I'd been to Paris). I was a little worried about going back. You know how sometimes things don't live up to your memory? Well this wasn't one of those times. The Sacre Coeur is simply stunning.
I don't have any pictures from the interior as it is forbidden to take pictures in the church. This didn't stop some tourists. Some even used flash! Actually it was really nice not having to be a slave to the camera and being able to take in the beauty of the church without trying to capture it on film. The ceiling was spectacular! I loved the stained glass which had writing styled in the manner of le Chat Noir.
We walked around the grounds as much as possible, unfortunately most was blocked off.
Not well advertised is the opportunity to visit the crypts and the dome. As K and I are scaredy kats, we decided against the crypts and paid our 6€ to climb the 300 steps to the top.
For most of the ascent, we were in a dark spiral staircase, climbing worn stairs. Here is one of the nice open air moments.
The Sacre Coeur is located on the Montmartre which is the highest hill. The view from the top is spectacular.
I would have enjoyed this tour of the dome a lot more if I hadn't been worrying about the journey, "what goes up must come down". I was imagining my downward trek as a cartoonist tumbling routine. So for the first 1/2 of my descent I took two steps for each stair (the exact opposite of two steps at a time). Good thing it wasn't busy.
I would definitely recommend spending the money to go to the top it was so worth it. But reconsider if you have bad knees, fear of heights or claustrophobia.
One piece of advise when going to the Sacre Coeur, as you are awed by the church's beauty, beware of the men trying to affix string bracelets on your arm as you approach the stairs. They will tie the string to your arm then demand payment. Keep your arms close, and don't linger in this area. Be firm with your no. K and I made it safely through there but many didn't. There was evidence of these string bracelets littering the stairs.
From the Sacre Coeur, we walked through the rue de norvins. Although there were no string vendors, we were accosted by every caricaturist. Sometimes they followed us, sometimes they approached in groups of 4-5. We were happy to turn off onto the rue poublot to the Dali museum.
Unknown to me, someone is a huge Dali fan...
We paid an extra 3€ and got the audio for the museum. Well worth it
I'm not going to pretend to be any art expert, but here is what I got from the tour. Dali was surrealist who was excommunicated by his school of art. This hurt him profoundly. Many themes were recurrent in his works, Alice, ants, snails, clocks, crutches.
(pleaded note the titles are only correct for the last three I can't remember what they were for the rest)
His inspiration for the clocks was a melting piece of camembert. He also struggled with his religious beliefs, his mother a Catholic his father and atheist. Resulting in one of my favourites
Tomorrow, attempt # 2 at the Louvre.