Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hello Paris: An Afternoon at the Sacré Coeur

Paris was probably the one destination on our European trip that I was looking forward to the most.  I mean, who hasn't ever dreamed of visiting the City of Lights with all of its sites and romantic, cosmopolitan reputation?  Paris now seems like a big blur, and like Amsterdam, I want to check it out for myself more in depth, someday...

We arrived in Paris on the Thalys train in the early afternoon, and from the bus ride from the train station to the hotel, I could plainly see that we were in a city much larger than Amsterdam.  This city is sprawling, seemingly the size of all the boroughs of New York in one gigantic tract of land, and as surprisingly diverse as my home city. Our hotel was in one of the outer districts of the city, and so much of our two-day whirlwind through Paris would find us on its subway system.

The Paris subways are pretty easy to navigate.  I can say that now only because our tour guide Steve lead the way and the experience wasn't as harrowing as I'd heard it would be.  Our first destination in the city was one cool place...

As you might guess from the looks of it, the building in the picture above is a church. It's called Sacré Coeur, or The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. The basilica sits atop a hill offering spectacular views of Paris, and the surrounding area, towards the bottom of the hill, is a quaint neighborhood full of great eateries, shops and more.

It was Easter Sunday and the place was bustling with people. In fact, the basilica was so crowded I didn't have the energy to fight my way inside, opting to enjoy the scenery from below the church and above the city. We had only about two or three hours here, and I spent it with my fellow chaperones Joanne, Audrey, Kristen and Francesca. We had a nice lunch in a French restaurant, walked around a bit, and took a few selfies...

Looking back, this particular afternoon was one of the more enjoyable afternoons spent on the entire trip, especially being a place I hadn't anticipated, or heard of for that matter, within the city of Paris. It was relaxing, amazing, and oh so enjoyable, and I had a taste of some authentic French food, which I'd never tried before.  


 Real French onion soup, only they just call it "onion soup"

Steak and real French fries, only they called it fried potatoes.

Some kind of dessert...cheese and sugar!?!?

Should you ever find yourself in Paris, France, you definitely need to check out this beautiful, quaint little area.  Just look for the Sacré Coeur, and spend an awesome afternoon taking it all in.  

Be sure to check out my other posts so far from this great adventure in Europe, and stay tuned for more... 


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