On the day 3 of our 6-day trip we woke up for breakfast at 8. Usually the breakfast in French hotels consists of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, croissants, baguettes, butter, cheese and marmalade. Our hotel had the breakfast buffet: help yourself and eat as much as you like for 8 euros. After the breakfast we headed to a nearby market under the subway tracks. (Yes, this line is actually lifted above the street level.) Almost every neighborhood in Paris has it´s own outdoor market open on certain days. Many Parisians, especially elderly people, buy a bigger part of their food supply from these outdoor markets.
From the market we walked towards the La Motte Piquet Grenelle subway station where we took the 6 train few stops west. The location where we headed was the Trocadero – a huge palace just opposite of the Eiffel Tower. The grandiose palace at Trocadero is actually called Palais Chaillot, which hosts two museums and a movie theatre.
After letting the magnificent view from Trocadero down to the Eiffel Tower sink in for a while we headed back to the subway and boarded the 6 train again. This time we headed towards another Paris landmark, the Arch de Triomphe that is located in the middle of a rond-point on Place Ètoile. Construction of Arch de Triomphe was initiated by Napoleon himself. Later Napoleon was overthrown and the Arch finished about 30 years after beginning construction in 1806. Architect who designed the Arch de Triomphe had the names of every single soldier that died in the Napoleon´s wars carved on the Arch. Arch hosts also the memorial for “unknown soldier” from WWI era.
From the Arch de triomphe we moved down an avenue that is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world – the Champs Èlysée. The street is also, no doubt, one of the most famous and exclusive in the world. The avenue hosts cafés, movie theatres and stores of many exclusive and luxurious brands.
We walked down the Cahamps Èlysés all the way to the Rond Point de Champs Èlysées. There we turned right and headed towards river Seine on the avenue Montaigne. Neighborhood between Champs Èlysées and Seine in the real haute couture Paris – or the whole world! If you´re into shopping some haute couture in Paris, this is the place to be.
The Avenue Montaigne leads towards a very notorious place – Pont-de l´Alma. Walking towards the Alma-bridge (Pont is bridge in French) you´ll first end up at the place de l`Alma with a replica of the flame of liberty, which the International Herald Tribune gave to the city of Paris. Nowadays the flame is an unofficial memorial for Princess Diana, the princess of Wales. The Alma bridge became notorious in 1997 when Princess Diana died in a car crash in the Pont de l´Alma tunnel that leads an avenue along the bank of Seine, starting right at the bridge.
After the seeing place and bridge at Alma, we headed down to the Alma-Marceau bus stop and boarded the line 72 bus towards Chatelet. There we boarded the line 67 and moved on towards Buffon-La Mosquée. As you probably guessed, there you can find a mosque – the Great Mosque of Paris. The mosque hosts a hammam (a certain type of sauna or bath) and a tearoom that serves sweet and hot mint tea.
This time we didn´t stay to enjoy the hammam, but enjoyed some tea instead. Later we headed through the Place Monge to the rue Mouffetard – an ancient route that was formed originally in the middle ages.
A hard day´s night – a trip to church and some entertainment
After getting some rest in the hotel for the afternoon, we headed out to get a taste of Parisian night. First we boarded the bus 80 from the intersection of Bouleverd Grenelle and Boulevard La Motte towards Jules Joffrin stop in the 18th arrondissement. Many bus routes are quite long and traverse the city from the south to the north and east to west. There are about 110 lines altogether. After getting off the bus Jules Joffren we boarded the so-called Montmartre bus that took us up to the magnificent Basilique Sacré Coeur – the white church that rises above the city on a hill called Montmartre. Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart) is a catholic cathedral and one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. Construction of the cathedral was started in 1875 and was finished at 1914.
Before entering the Sacré Coeur we rode the Montmartre funicular down and back up just for fun. After the ride we headed for dinner at La Maison Rose restaurant situated in the northern ridge of the Montmartre hill. Our plan was to enjoy the cabaret Lapin Agile, where we walked after the dinner. Lapin Agile has provided Parisians with entertainment in the very same location for 160 years!
The program at Lapin Agile consisted of old chansons and traditional bal-musette, a style of French popular music and dance. Atmosphere in Lapin Agile was shady and authentic, shaped by a glass of cherry wine made by the house. What a time travel to the history of Parisian artists and drunkards!
After a great evening in the Lapin Agile, the old-time cabaret, we headed downhill from the Montmartre and took the 12 train from the Abesse subway station. Sous le ciel de Paris, a well-known chanson played in the Lapin Agile, was playing in our heads all night long.