Today’s itinerary was to do a walking tour of Montmartre led by Maxine and her tour book pages. We walked up our street, Rue Muller, and then up a path and steps to Sacre Coeur. We were that close. The Grape Harvest Festival was in full swing with hundreds of booths, thousands of people and lots of food and drink going on. We found our way through security, the festival, and then out onto the crowded streets near Place du Tertre where many artists set up their easels each day for the tourists. Walking past that, we headed to find the one remaining vineyard (Who knew Montmartre once was full of vineyards? But it was once a hilly country area, perfect for growing grapes.). Once we found the vineyard, we also found hundreds of people lining the streets and heard someone talking on a loudspeaker. Clearly, there was going to be some sort of a panade.
We continued on our walk, finding spots of note, including the Moulin de la Galette, currently a fine restaurant with the one remaining windmill in Montmartre. 19th century owners and millers made brown bread, galette, which became popular, thus the name of the windmill and its then businesses. Artists such as Renoir, Van Gogh, and Pissarro immortalized Le Moulin de la Galette. The most notable was Renoir’s painting, Bal du moulin de la Galette. I stepped inside and made a 1:00 lunch reservation and we continued on our tour, locating the house were Van Gogh once lived and seeing lots of lovely doors, buildings and views. We even passed a Vietnamese restaurant. I would have happily eaten there if we had not already made reservations elsewhere.
Our lunch was delicious. I had the Boeuf Bourguignon with Creme Brûlée for dessert. It was the perfect “last meal” in Paris. When we arrived at 12:45pm the outside eating area was filled with diners and the inside had only one table occupied. Once the parade passed that intersection, people streamed in and soon all the tables were filled and the dining room was filled with energy and conviviality. After lunch, we again found our way through the crowds, back to our apartment that is steps from Sacre Coeur.
We finished packing, did some cleaning so the regular tenant could move back in after our 2-week invasion (that’s a long story), took our belongings down the three flights of narrow stairs and I called on Uber. Unfortunately, our street was closed at the bottom of the hill due to the festival up above, so the driver could not get to us. He called and we ended up walking down the hill to meet him two blocks away at a main intersection. Something has gone wacky with Uber so I now have two pending Uber charges on my credit card account for that one trip and I got two emails from Uber confirming two trips I took today - one to the Marriott at the Charles DeGaulle airport and a second trip with a different driver from the Marriott into Paris. I will figure that out once I am home. I will be home tomorrow afternoon after sitting in Economy class for 11 hours, 40 mins. I may need to schedule a massage.
We had such a great two weeks seeing Paris, museums, Giverny, the Dordogne and Chartres and coexisting in our tiny apartment. I’m already thinking of my next trip in April 2019!