Saturday, May 3, 2014


The final stop on our grand tour from Hong Kong to the US was in Paris. Having a friend stationed at Unesco Headquarters and living in Paris, we asked for a recommendation of where to stay. Janel and Evan gave us a wonderful tip about a small boutique hotel in Montmartre.

Hotel des Arts is located on a quiet street right in the middle of everything you would wand to see in Montmartre. The place is old and charming and (as the name would suggest) quite arty.

Walking through this area is a great treat. There are streets of all sizes and buildings both large and small. And I love the Parisian rooftops.

Just up the hill from our hotel is the Moulin de la Galette. There are two windmills on the property and they have quite a history. It was built in 1622 and the original (the Blute-fin) was joined by the Radet in 1717. At the end of the Napolionic wars in 1814, during the siege of Paris, three men lost their lives defending the windmill against the Cossacks. The miller was killed and nailed to the wings of the windmill. It was saved from destruction in 1915 and restored in 1978, but is not running. It has been a monument since 1939. 

The Radet.

 The Blute-fin.

Continuing up the hill we wandered past many interesting sights on our way to the top of Montmartre.

And at the top of Montmartre is Sacre Coeur. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located on the summit of Montmartre which is the highest point in the city. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. There are no photographs allowed in the interior. Believe me when I say it is extraordinary. 

Here is a taste of the detail work on the Basilica and its surrounding structures.

Despite a hazy day, the views of Paris were stunning, much more than photographs can show.

And there was street side entertainment.

And that is not all the area has to offer. Among our four days of wandering we had breakfast at Deux Moulins, the restaurant where part of Amalie was filmed...

...rode the Paris Metro...

Had dinner in the open air (despite the very chilly temps)...

... and saw the district's most famous night spot.

If you are lucky enough to visit Paris, this is definitely the place to stay. We loved it.

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