Cruisin’ down the Seine and discovering the dark side of Paris

Eiffel Tower from the Seine
Eiffel Tower from the Seine

Monday and we’re dragging but keen to see more. Sleep has been a challenge because neither of us are used to the noise of city living. We must keep the windows closed against the noise,  but then its hot in the apartment. My son, who’s happy in a t-shirt when its 50 degrees, has been a trooper though.

This morning we’re off to do a Baton Mouche Seine boat tour, its another glorious sunny day with a perfect temperature. Its nice to sit for a change and watch the sights of Paris pass from the top of the boat.

Pont des Arts - Love Locks
Pont des Arts – Love Locks

The cruise lasts about an hour and is a nice break.

Bateaux Mouches route
Bateaux Mouches route

Next stop is Montmarte by Metro. This will be another marathon day for my Fitbit steps, especially the uphill part! No Finicular for us – no sirey – (mainly because we didn’t see it and just started walking up the narrow, windy streets until we hit the top!) Before going into the church we’re hungry and thirsty – all that crazy climbing – and find a nice bistro near Sacre Coeur.

I sort of look a little dazed!  I badly needed a glass of wine!
I sort of look a little dazed! I badly needed a glass of wine!


View from Sacre Coeur
View from Sacre Coeur

After briefly wandering around the shops and looking at the view of Paris from Sacre Coeur we’re ready to walk around Montmartre and the Pigalle area. Big mistake! This is where you really see the Paris hit by the financial crisis. Lots of guys hanging around with nothing to do on a Monday. These are the same guys wandering through the Metro looking for targets and dreaming up more ways to rob and scam people.
Consequently we don’t go very far before we hightail it back to the metro – now even more vigilant of who’s around us. I don’t remember this feeling when I was last in Montmartre pre-financial crisis.
About 9 PM we decide to throw a bottle of wine, corkscrew, and a couple of glasses in my backpack and head to the Champ de Mars to sit on a bench and watch the hourly twinkle of the lights on the Eiffel Tower and the people – the rat scurrying around the bushes in the dark were also entertaining!

Eiffel Tower Twinkle lights
Eiffel Tower twinkle