That old sardine feeling…


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On our Friday in Paris, Aaron and me go on a go-see to the Sacre Coeur. Paris is Paris, it means that there are a lot of homeless people. My heart breaks when I see this old lady, her hair all felted up, she talks to herself while she turns the brown cloth in her hands. I still don’t think you would choose for this life if you really would have a choice.

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We go down in the Metro, spooky place, the Paris Metro, old and bit out of fashion, almost no rolling staircases. You are on your own there. The Paris Metro is no place for people with difficulties walking or doing stairs.

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Our train just rolls in when we get down there. And comes to a creaking halt for the passengers to hop in or off. I wonder how the train driver knows when the doors are clear… A short signal, and we are on our way.

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I have that old and known sardine feeling again… All the seats are taken, who can’t sit just stands up. Hold on to the bars or get tossed around at every stop.

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We come above ground again at our stop, Anvers is the stop to go to the Sacre Coeur. Love the metal frame that indicates a Metro entry. It is all so picturesque in Paris. This is one of the best European Trips that Aaron and me made. Every memory of Paris has a little golden border. Of course, the traffic is hideous, and you need to be suicidal to want to cross the avenues… The big roundabouts all have six four lane streets crossing and zooming with cars.
The little scooters scoot through, Paris traffic is worse then Rome traffic, if not an understatement…

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It is early in the day, the terraces are still empty… The menu boards announce the bites for the day.
Lots of Parisians speak English, we can get around. (I speak French, but Aaron doesn’t… In Belgium, they teach the school kids French as of the age of nine… Marie et Pierre, la table, I still recall our first words)

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The food is good in France. I have mussels on several occasions, never get tired of those. Most of the menus around are bilingual. They spoil foreigners.

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It soon becomes clear that the surroundings of the Sacre Coeur are the touristy topper in Paris. Dozens of school groups, shouting, laughing, having fun. All nationalities in view, I hear Flemish, Russian, Russian sounding, Japanese. The whole world sends people to Paris.

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Aaron gets me a back pack in one of the too expensive stores, but we can act as tourists now and then… Tourists buy stuff, that is the way of the world. I also buy some very beautiful black and white cards.

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The first thing we see before we go up the stairs towards the Sacre Coeur is a big carrousel. I love them. They bring joy and feel good memories. Now they do, as a kid I never wanted to go on the horses as I was afraid that they were going to escape their poles. With some luck, I would try one of the seating carriages on it…
And don’t laugh: I have seen the horses fly off, remember that documentary “Mary Poppins”????

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A little boy is looking on, probably hoping to get on it… Where is his mom? His face lights up when he is allowed on, he picks the black horse! A true trooper.

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And sjeesh, that is a lot of stairs. I start vividly, but soon have to slow down, I’m jealous when I see the young people jump up, two steps at the time. Bottom to top.
I have the excuse that I need to snap now and then, these stairs are a slow death marsh…
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Almost on top, I have a view over Paris that is regal. too bad about the smog, we can only see so far, then the houses and churches disappear in a cloud.

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I see a golden cupola, it is the one we see from our room in our hotel, but have not found yet what building it belongs to. I love the saddled roof tops, or the French roofs as they are called in Belgium. Usually mansard rooms, small, cold in winter, hot in summer. They do look charming though!

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A warrior on a green horse, overlooking the steps, not bothered by the zillions of tourists that flock to this place every day. I remember that my oldest son and his girlfriend were here last year. They took the train up from Belgium for a daytrip in Paris.

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A lovely family walks up with us, a lady with a daughter, the dad is snapping them. The girl is grinning sweet into the camera. They speak a language that sounds Easter European, she looks very French and Oh La La…
She reminds me of a friend that I have fallen out with… I miss her. How odd that a person in another country can remind you of people in your daily life. Travelling is so enriching.

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We need some detail shots, I don’t bother too much with Sacre Coeur shots, as I can only repeat another 4 zillion pics taken of it before I got here…

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The gate looks pretty dangerous, not something you want to climb over…

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A graphic image of Christ, it was a gruesome death, being tied to a cross… What humans can do to another…

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We quickly take a short silent moment inside, people are praying and some are lighting the little candles. The smell of wax…

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On our way out I see a veiled woman standing next to her man.
Paris is international… Le Penn and his followers hate that idea. I think it is neat that we can mix and mingle, as people alike… It is the fanatics that screw it all up for everyone, this couple is just like Aaron and me visiting a great city and enjoying the sights and smells.

More tomorrow. Time to go feed Annie’s cats in Stean, I need to sort pictures for my Paris scrapbook! O the choices!

Life is good when back home after a wonderful trip…

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2 thoughts on “That old sardine feeling…

  1. You really reached on this trip and captured the essence of the country….not the typical travel shots. Really a splendid job, Cat! That you loved it shows in your work. Tres magnifique!

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