Thursday, March 21, 2013

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

After a weekend spent around our neighborhood, we planned a full day of exploring for Monday.  Starting the day off with visiting the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur was almost disastrous.  Not really, but before we left we checked the rain forecast.  There was a 40% chance of rain prescribed for the entire day, but we decided that since it was sunny out it was probably not very accurate.  It seems that most days there is a chance of rain so 40% did not seem too dismal.  Walking to the Metro in Montreuil was pleasant and sunny.  Exiting the Metro in Sacre Coeur was rainy and cloudy.  Our new stroller has a rain protective cover that can be attached, but being the prepared parent that I am we did not have it with us.  We made it through the crowded streets, up the big cobblestone street hill.  Once to the top, I realized that Liam only had one of his gloves on his hand.  In the process of walking through the crowd, rain, and bumpy road; we had lost a glove.  Since his coat is so fluffy and big, I just tried to shove his hand inside the arm of his jacket.  To not hold you in suspense too long, on the way back to the Metro I found his glove on the side of the sidewalk untouched! Yay!
Liam in front of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. 
Near the Basilica is an artist market.  Even in the rain, artists were out painting portraits of tourists and showcasing beautiful paintings of scenes around Paris.  We are planning on going back on a prettier day so we can stroll the area more thoroughly.  The Basilica is beautiful on the inside.  You cannot take any pictures so I'm sorry that I can't share the inside with you.  It was nice walking around and getting warm.

The view of Paris cannot be beat from this viewpoint high above the city.

Afterwards, we headed for the Auchan which is like Walmart.  We purchased a couple of fun things that were small enough to carry home with us like kid scissors, construction paper, play dough, etc. :)  On our way home we stopped by a park that is just north of our house,  Parc Jean Moulin.  We have not explored the area north of us yet, but we were excited to find a huge park only about 10 minutes from our house.  The park is about 635 acres.  It had two different amazing playground areas.  We walked past lots of soccer fields and open green spaces.  The trails were very nice and gave beautiful views of the city as some of the trails were high on a hill.

It was dusk and we decided to head for home because the area of town was a little on the rougher side.  I had a strange feeling about the park because there were no kids anywhere.  This was such an awesome playground to be totally empty.  Anyways, we walked down a very large steep hill.  So steep, in fact, that it had to zig zag around to reach the bottom.  Once we reached the very bottom, we realized that the gate had a padlock on the exit.  I was a little distraught that the sun was going down and we were stuck.  We had to walk back up this really steep hill to get to another exit.  So instead of traveling on the paved path, we decided to take the muddy trail because it was a more direct route.  Outside of the fence were run down buildings with lots of graffiti and teenagers roaming around.  My anxiety was mounting.  Once at the top of the hill, we continued to walk the perimeter of the park hoping the next exit would not be locked.  The entire park was enclosed by a 12 foot tall black iron gate.  We were stuck and it was not a fun feeling.  The next exit and the exit after that were all locked.  We realized there was no way out except to jump the fence.  We found an area of the fence that half was rocks and the other half was a smaller iron gate.  We used our rock climbing skills to climb up and over.  I went first and then Bobby handed me the kids and the strollers and then followed.  Once home we were able to laugh about the situation, but in the moment I was scared out of my mind!  Good times........

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