Who has ever watched Audrey Tautou’s Amélie? Raise you haaaaaaand!!!
I have been so obsessed with that quirky movie and Audrey Tautou portrayed Amélie Poulain’s character perfectly. Plus, Yann Tiersen’s music completed that movie into some kind of Paris fantasy for me. Amélie comes from Montmartre, a small hill at the north of Paris (It’s still in the first zone of Paris, fyi). That’s the main reason why I had to visit Montmartre, abso-fashion-lutely.
On that day, I planned to visit a local Marché (market) before going to Montmartre, but I was so tired after last night at Eiffel Tower (plus, I walked a lot that day). So, I decided to wait for Ben who came from Turin, Italy, with his friends. We were planning to visit Montmartre together. There are two metro stations where you can choose to start your visit: Anvers (if you want Sacre Coeur, the basilica, first) and Blanche (if you want the famous Moulin Rouge first). I recommend you to stop at Anvers because Montmartre is a hill and you need to walk uphill from Moulin Rouge if you stop at Blanche.
After getting out from Anvers metro station, I turned right and walked straight. There were some souvenir shops but I didn’t have any appetite to buy one because those shops were awfully crowded. Ah, one thing about Montmartre today: It’s indeed full of people. Either tourists or local citizens. There was a garden in front of Sacre Coeur where you can lay down and enjoy the view of Paris. It was reeeeallly hot that day! I felt like summer was coming after winter. and I forgot to wear socks so my skin got darker 😦
We had to be in queue to enter Sacre Coeur. It’s free, btw. There were people praying inside. This basilica got many influences from Roman. I noticed it because Ben explained that to me and I recognised some similarities with some churches I had visited in Italy. and as usual, there was also a souvenir shop inside Sacre Coeur. (PS. There are many churches in Europe who have souvenir shop inside).
Behind Sacre Coeur, there was a path to go down to the street who has many cafes and souvenir shops (again!). That street was more crowded than the street I passed before. There were many painting stands and galleries where you can buy Paris paintings or get your face being on a canvas. I wasn’t so interested to have my face on canvas that day because my father can draw a better picture of my face :p Surprisingly, those painters were not only French, but also some Asian painters. I recognised some faces of Chinese and Japanese.
Montmartre looks similar to Sintra, a small beautiful village near Lisbon. It has a part that is super crowded by tourist and many hidden parts that are more beautiful. My advise is: get lost here! I got lost there as well. I followed random path and I ended up somewhere but I didn’t care. I wanted to feel the Montmartre feeling I got from watching Amélie.
I met a talented young painter named Camille there. She was one year younger than me and married! Both she and her husband were painters. They made a small mini gallery on the street in Montmartre. Most of her paintings were about Paris and its iconic tower, the Eiffel Tower.
Do you still remember the cafe where Amélie worked? I knew this one from Bea and yeah I found it! It was Café de Deux Moulins and this cafe was real. It’s located at Rue Lepic no. 15. You can ask everyone or any tourist information where is this Amélie cafe. Or, you can join tour de Amélie in Montmartre.
I walked down Rue Lepic and I ended up at the corner where Moulin Rouge was located. I watched the movie of Moulin Rouge and got disappointed by seeing this building. It looked like a common pleasure “cabaret” place near a crowded street. It was so hard to take a picture of it without having cars on my frame. Well, maybe it would have been so puuuurfect if the gorgeous Ewan McGregor was there waving his hands and giving free hugs (Stop dreaming, Nabila!).
I finished my Montmartre visit here. There was Blanche metro station in front of it and I need to go to my next destinations.
To be continued…