We weren't off to a bright start this morning but most of us got to revisit a few places before we leave Paris. This last Sunday is a little bittersweet. I love the fact that Parisians really don't work on Sundays. A lot of us claim that we relax on Sundays but we don't. I don't agree that everything should be closed on Sundays but it is nice to enjoy everyone just enjoying life and not working. Tim and I got to appreciate that when we headed up to Montmartre and see Sacre Coeur again. Before walking up to the top of this "mountain of martyrs," we checked out the incredible graveyard at the base of the hill. It was unlike any cometary I have ever seen and I loved it in all its morbid splendor. The "tombs" were more like monuments or mausoleums, I guess. Most were anywhere from 6-15 feet high with everything from stained glass and mosaic to sculptures and paintings ornamenting them. Some were simply beautiful. Most were old, going back a few hundred years. There were some recent as well though. We were able to peek into many of them and the insides were sometimes just extravagant as the outside. The whole area was a lot of fun to just walk around and check out all the unique tombs and monuments.
So, we walked up to Sacre Coeur, where the atmosphere is just spectacular. There are dozens of artists, selling their works and painting new ones as you walk past. There was a man playing his guitar and singing some good old American songs like Oasis and even some Elvis. When I threw some money into his guitar case, I asked where he was from and he surprised me with a German accent! It was pretty funny but he was nice to sit and listen to for a while. Again, we got to enjoy that glorious no-work Sundays as the place was packed and all the grass was filled with people relaxing and soaking up the sunshine through their winter coats. And of course, that view is spectacular.
We tried to find the Moulin Rouge but we probably just circled it 5 times. We never actually came across it and finally, after tiring from walking up and down the mountain so much, we gave up and headed back down. We did find a neat church at the bottom, St. Jean. It was unlike any other church I had seen anywhere, even in Paris. The doors were wide-open and it looked as though the constant sunshine spilling in had faded all of the wooden walls and pillars. Old, washed out paintings covered the walls and a wonderful mosaic/tiling motif ran throughout the church. I loved it.