Sunday, September 22, 2013

the Cimetière Montmartre and dinner with Crepes

Second part of the title is an inside joke... eh, Kevin?

Going down the hill, we made our first attempt to stop at Cave Gaston Leroux, one of our favorite finds from our first trip but it was always closed. 

Another view of the Moulin de la Galette - I just like this picture of this very picturesque area. 

Then on to the Montmartre Cemetery - not the largest in Paris but beautiful - incredible to those of us from the US who think a few marble stones make an impressive cemetery. 

A little history -  Covering nearly 25 acres in the hollow of an old quarry in the 18th arrondissement, and built below street level, Montmartre was opened in 1825. Although located in the midst of a bustling section of Paris, with a major boulevard running over divisions 17 and 18, once you find your way into Montmartre you'll discover the peace and quiet of strolling down its streets and avenues.  Among the famous and near-famous here you'll find Edgar Degas, Jacques Offenbach, Heinrich Heine, Hector Berlioz, Nijinsky, Stendhal, Adolphe Sax (yes the guy who invented the saxophone). Also some of the most striking sculptures in Paris can be found in Montmartre.

During our first trip to Paris, we happened to walk by and saw this little town below street level - and really you get the idea you are walking in a miniature town - there are street names and even arrondissements! (districts)

The cemetery actually extends under a major road. 

But most of it looks like a pleasant garden
Kevin was a little bored after a bit but I liked walking through and reading some of the more unusual gravestones and tributes. It isn't all old either - there were recent graves and grieving loved ones crying near one or two graves reminding you that this is actually a graveyard, not just a historical site.

Nijinsky, the Russian ballet star known as the greatest male ballet dancer of the early 20th century - who in later years suffered from mental illness and was unable to perform - shown in one of his most beloved roles as the puppet Petrushka.
Last time we saw Degas and Alexander Dumas, fils best known for Camille (the son - son of novelist Alexander Dumas) - and many others.  This time we made a stop to see the grave of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the Saxophone. 

last one for this trip was Alphonse Baudin, medical doctor and politician, famous for being killed on a barricade  in Paris in 1851. His remains were later moved to the Pantheon along with others who died for their country.

So by now it was late afternoon and we headed back to the Moulin Rouge area - and sat down for our daily afternoon wine and cheese this time at Le Palmier, right across from the Moulin Rouge. This area is very busy at night with people coming and going all night. Down the street is an area of sex shops and who knows what else but never felt like more than an interesting, vibrant area and never a place to be nervous about the area despite its reputation. 

All the wine was good, many of the cheeses were good but about this time Bill began a search for a really great assiete de fromages  - assortment of cheese. Stay tuned in!

And after sitting and just enjoying the wine, cheese, company and people watching, we decided to head home. But we weren't really done eating for the night so we stopped at a local Crepes place and got crepes to take home and eat on our terrace.  These are not dessert crepes but filled with various meats, cheese, tuna, etc.  This guy ended up being our favorite crepe-maker!

Eating on our private terrace became a favorite - or just sharing a bottle of wine and dessert after dinner. 

Ok, those past 4 entries were all one day - now do you see why I wasn't getting blogging done? By this time we had walked many miles, and were very tired...  Hope you aren't all tired of this - there are 8 more days to go!!

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