In the next day, we were visiting Montmartre. A place with the famous Basilica called Sacre Coeur.
If you don’t know about this place. Try first to watch the movie Amelie. Remember that movie? A very unpredictable line movie, as usual how the French movie, it goes back and front all the time, make us confuse, but in the end, it is a sweet ending, well at least for Amelie, lol. I love that movie, also the music soundtrack in it. Now after I return to Jakarta and re-write my experience while listening to the soundtrack of Amelie’s movie, it brought me back to the feeling when I step up in Montmartre city, I feel like I am surrounding by those artist and painter, and maybe some of them are gipsy who were dancing all the time with old violin or saxophone played jazz by old man with long white beard and tons of wines to cheer up the night. So, there are scenes taken in Montmartre, that’s why I’m relating the movie and the city 😉
My first impression to the city, it’s so beautifully old but nice. Nicest city I saw so far when I was in France. Montmartre has it own charm, when you can peacefully enjoy the day without afraid of some lousy noise, or just spend a quiet day in the corner of the cafe. The building on my right and left was stand up so pretty. The city is so clean, all the walls seem like someone wash it everyday. Clean, organized and artistic. That’s what I can say about this town.
You need to climb up above with stairs, cause the Basilica is up on the hill. For those who tired or bring baby, such as what we did, we bring Chloe with her trolley, you need to walk around to avoid stairs.
Oh one thing quite depressing sometimes for people in Paris, or maybe western Europe people, is to finding a parking space for the car. Since you can not park your car in everywhere as you want. There are some certain places which you can park your car and pay it through a machine. If you do wrong, the police will give you a fine letter, charge you with high amount or worst, they can take your car by the crane car. I actually don’t know how to pay the parking there, but when I saw my brother in law paying the bill, it was always like this : find a parking spot, find a machine, put the car number plat (maybe), put some coin and you will get the receipt. But sometimes I saw him do it first, or later after we finished walking around. So I’m not really sure how it works. Actually, we are lucky because local people was on vacation also, it made that moment we can easily find the parking space and the area not so full with cars.
Talking about paying your parking hours by yourself, I want to share a little about what I feel living in France. This is an independent country. You do everything by yourself mostly. Like buying the gasoline, in some markets paying your own groceries, or even when you enter to your basement parking space, you need to use remote to let your car in. No one helps you, only machine. Very independent!
Sometimes I feel it is too independent, maybe for the daily life style it is good, but when relating to human relation, being too independent is like giving a gap between each person. People mostly live in apartment there, the apartment was built maybe since 100-200 years ago. Every each apartment has it owns beautiful design and name of the Architect who built is written in the apartment wall. But what I recognized there, where a modern people still has their own way of life, being independent until careless with their neighbor. If you ever lived in apartment, you will know how it looks when one door to another is so close, but yet you can not acquaintance with other person who lives next door to you.
Back to Montmartre, it was a pretty gloomy day when we were there. Maybe because it’s up on hill, the wind was more windy and pretty cool. Also the cloud seems to us like it will be raining in very soon. I pray and pray perhaps the rain not come yet before we finish the trip (oh yeah, I know it was a very egoistic prayer, hahhaa).
After a long walk, sometimes we always stop to make a picture, while my brother in law take care Chloe with the trolley and being patient with this tourist from Jakarta, and my sister help me to capture the moment with me in it 😉 finally we can saw the Basilica.
Wow!! It’s very hugeeeeeeee… Sacre Coeur is a beautiful white building with such an awesome architecture. I really can not understand how they made it. How many people need to build this building. How many years need to complete all the part. It’s really a treasure! A country treasure from the ancient time. Glad that their government really take care with it, so it keeps beautiful when in 2012 like now, we were seeing the building. People said, that’s how the way their taxes go.
Honestly, I need to google a bit about this place, so we both can understand what this place about. So here’s what I can find from google :
They called it Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris. It’s a Roman Catholic church. The ground first was built on 1875 and completed on 1914. It was in highest point of the city, with length 35 meters, width 85 meters, height 85 meters, and made by Travertine stone (I don’t know this kind of stone, but it’s white for sure), designed by Paul Abadie (what a talent dude!). First it was designated to build the image of cultural and political to excesses the Second Empire and socialist in 1817. Though today, the Basilica is asserted to dedicated in honor of the 58.000 person who lost their lives during the war (taken from wikipedia).
Enough with the history before you get bored :p
I enjoy the walk, I saw lots of street painters try to get some customer by offering a sketch or portrait painting.
I remember about someone when I was there. Someone who told me cheerfully about seeing Paris city through the telescope in front of Basilica. How weird the fact that reality always change without any prior information ;)Don’t you think so?
It feels like an amazing classical music in my mind. Smile in my face still emerge and I breathe so deep. This city is so nice. The building was fantastic. And my question about where everyone go, has been answered so quickly when I saw lots of tourist in front of the Basilica. A lot! Now I feel SUMMER again. There are few peoples who sell souvenir, also street musician who tried to gain some attention and money from those who listening to him. I’m sure he got a lot, since the atmosphere was so nice, I bet many tourist put their euros coin in the guitar case on the floor for him 🙂
I came inside of the Basilica, I saw a very pretty painting, the HUGE one about Jesus Christ. It’s so awesome. I hold my breathe when I saw it. You can’t take a picture inside, so you have to really enjoy every details in it, keep that in mind and remember it for your whole life. You also need to open your hat every time you enter to a church. And rarely they asked you to open the jacket and sunglasses, but to a place very famous (and holy) such as Sacre Coeur, no wonder if they ask you.
This is my first experience came inside of Europe Catholic church. The detail, statues and relief are so pretty good. They have corners with each different Saints name for you to pray. Huge painting in everywhere. Painting about born, ministry, crucifixion dead and resurrection of Christ. Mostly painting was inspired by the story in Bible. Inside there is a very huge organ. A friend told me that sometimes there is a choir performance, but that day was not my lucky day regarding to the choir, I didn’t find it.
I was quickly but still enjoy the view inside of Basilica. You can pray there and lite a candle, you need to give € 2 as for the exchange of the candle. Also it’s to help them by donating some money for the renovation of some parts of the building which too old and start to damage. You can also buy a gold medal souvenir with the picture of Basilica from a machine. Which I didn’t take it, because it will cost me some euros, hehehe.
After that, we continue walk by enjoying the street in Montmartre. The street is very nice but old street. It’s like a big square which in every side you can find old but convenience cafe and in the center, lots of painting stand. You can easily ask the street painter to portrait you. From classical way into the caricatures or cartoon. If you don’t like someone painting your face or you are too lazy to sit for certain times, you also can buy beautiful painting they made. Usually it’s in small size so you can bring it to home in your luggage, but you also can find the big one. Lots of tourist in this place, but it was a very nice day. Rain wasn’t come down. We tried the authentic macaroons there, it’s so small but cost you 1 euro/piece, no wonder why it’s so expensive because so difficult to make. I also buy some paintings for souvenir here.
When you are in Montmartre, you will feel like you are back in the old times, or no.. Well, maybe I am too romantic, but the city makes you feel like you are in Paris where the classical still the famous one. I really love Paris, the city of art and love, the city of music and wine, the city of cheese and kiss. Paris… Montmartre… you are just so beautiful.