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18e arrondissement

Sacre Coeur and Salvador Dali

sunny

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.
Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

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.
An alternate view

An alternate view

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.
Walking up to the dome

Walking up to the dome

Halfway up

Halfway up

Looking down

Looking down

The Sacre Coeur is located on the Montmartre which is the highest hill. The view from the top is spectacular.
View from the top

View from the top

Yes that is the Eiffel Tower in the distance

Yes that is the Eiffel Tower in the distance

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...

large_IMG_00000319.jpg

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.
Alice with a jump rope

Alice with a jump rope


Venus with clockface and ants on her body

Venus with clockface and ants on her body


Snail with angel

Snail with angel


Nobility of time

Nobility of time


Profile of time

Profile of time


Persistence of time

Persistence of time

(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
IMG_00000308.jpg

Tomorrow, attempt # 2 at the Louvre.

Posted by kwtraumer 07:45 Archived in France

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Comments

Dali - how wonderful. Love his work. Your pictures are great !!! Lise

by LiseD

Thanks Lise! I've taken attention the pictures with my blackberry paybook! I've been pleasantly surprised by how well they've turned out!

by kwtraumer

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