Follow by Email

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Magical Montmartre & The Bateaux Mouches

For as long as I can remember one of my most favorite parts of the city of Paris is up on the butte of Montmartre. The enormous and impressive Sacre Coeur cathedral sits high above the city and artists dot the square hoping to catch a willing subject to sit for a portrait. The Sacre Coeur is an architectural feat in and of itself with its enormous dome. It's always fun to feel small in the grandeur of these great European churches.
The buildings that surround the square and are colorful and charming and at times it seems hard to believe that you are in a living, breathing city and not a made up village like New Orleans Square in Disneyland! A vintage carousel added to the appeal of an already attractive area.
We caught a beautiful but cold day to head up there and we were not disappointed. The sprawling views of the city are worth taking in. Being amidst artists working their trade. Eating crepes. Hard to imagine a better way to spend the early afternoon.
The sun continued to shine so we decided to indulge in another of our favorite things to do in Paris, hop on the Bateaux Mouches and cruise the Seine. The water was really high and rough. We realized that we had never been in Paris in the winter months. This boat ride is one of the best ways to see most of the iconic buildings that dot Paris. I especially love the Musee D'Orsay, the former train station, majestic in every way. The Louvre passes by and you go under all of the wonderful bridges that connect the left and right banks.
The Eiffel Tower, the New Bridge and the American Church spire to the right of the Eiffel.
The only disappointment was that the water level didn't allow us to round the Ile de la Cite, the spot where the Notre Dame sits. That was a big bummer as that is one of the best parts of the cruise.
The cruise ends with a commanding view of the Eiffel Tower coming into view. The Eiffel tower is really amazing to behold. At night it glistens and sparkles with light but during the day you can really see the hulking architectural masterpiece it really is. It gets bigger and bigger the closer you get. It is huge! Clouds moved in and out all day, but as the Eiffel Tower came into view, sunny blue skies emerged so I was able to capture several shots of this great sight.
As the boat makes the turn to head back to the dock, the smaller Statue of Liberty comes into view.  At just the right moment, Lady Liberty and the Eiffel Tower line up and creates quite a lovely visual.
The Bateaux Mouches docks directly across from the American Church in Paris and this is why we've become so familiar with it! The Spire on the Seine has been a welcome sight to immigrants, ex-patriates, and French people for many years. I'm always so thankful for the time spent here and all that the church means to so many here in beautiful Paris.