France Odyssey: Seine River, Reims, & Paris Day 8

This morning we are docked back in Paris! Our morning was spent with a city tour of Paris. Our first stop was the Eiffel Tower. It was built for the International Exposition of 1889. The tower stood 984 feet and was constructed of wrought iron.

Another stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral. Building began in the 12th century and it took 300 years to complete the cathedral. The upper part of the cathedral was severely damaged in a fire in April, 2019. We could only visit the outside of Notre Dame. It was planned for reopening in December, 2024.

Notre Dame with scaffolding

More sites of Paris that we passed on our morning tour.

After our Paris city tour the rest of the day was on our own. We stopped at a cafe for something to drink.

Our next stop was the hill of Montmarte. We weren’t close so we took a subway to get close.

Entrance to the metro station
Riding the metro

The over 250 stairs awaited us to climb them to reach Sacré Coeur basilica.

Sacré Coeur was a popular tourist spot with over a million visitors every year! The Basilica du Sacré Coeur meant “sacred heart” in English. Its exterior was made from white limestone with a Roman-Byzantine style architecture. In front were two statues, one of Joan of Arc and the other of King Louis on horseback.

Basilica du Sacré Coeur

From here there were great panoramic views of Paris. It was a beautiful blue sky but the Paris skyline was hazy.

Behind the Sacré Coeur was the Place du Tertre we saw many artists ready to draw your portrait or caricature!

We ate lunch nearby at Chez Eugène on their terrace. We had a delicious lunch.

We spent some time walking the streets of Montmarte.

As we were walking around we came upon the two surviving windmills of the 30 that once were on Montmarte. The first one we saw was Le Moulin du Radet. It was built in 1717 and was originally used to ground flour and moved in 1924 and it now sits above a restaurant.

Le Moulin du Radet

Then we passed the Moulin de La Galette or Le Moulin Blute-Fin. This windmill was built in 1622 and was abandoned. You had to look through the trees to barely make out the windmill!

Le Moulin Blute-Fin or Moulin de Le Galette

We really enjoyed out walk around this area. From the historic windmills of Montmarte we then past the red windmill of Moulin Rouge, a caberet. This was another great spot for O-H-I-O!

On our walk back to the riverboat we saw the Eiffel Tower with the beautiful clear sky.

We walked along the Seine River and saw this bronze monument that was called “Monument des Martyrs Juifs du Velodrome d’Hiver”. It translation was “Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of the Winter Stadium”. It was dedicated to the memory of the 13,000+ Jews that were rounded up in Paris during WWII. At the bottom of the monument was enscribed “Let’s never forget”! Wise words to remember!

Monument des Martyrs Juifs du Velodrome d’Hiver

On a man-made island near the Grenelle Bridge in Paris we saw the quarter-scale version of the Statue of Liberty. It weighed 14 tons and stood 37 feet 9 inches tall. This was given to France in 1889 by US expats in Paris that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. On the base of the statue were two plaques, one with the date July 4, 1776 and the other with the date July 14, 1789.

Our city tour and the time to explore Paris on our own was invigorating and also tiring. We did a lot of walking today! This evening was our last night on the riverboat. Tomorrow we tour the Palace of Versailles.

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