Spent the morning with our wonderful guide M in Montmartre. M is amazing. He is so knowledgeable and conducts the tours all in French. As this is difficult for us to understand, he somehow uses just the right vocabulary so it feels almost effortless to understand everything he says. And the best part is, all the commentary is very interesting so I want to listen. Because whenever I start to tune out, I understand nothing because at this point my french is at the level where if I don’t concentrate hard to understand, I block everything out.
Anyway let’s get on to the highlights of Montmartre.
Those of who you have watched the film Amélie will know a lot of it was shot in Montmartre. This little market/dairy is in the beginning when you see Amélie sink her hand into a bag of grain (one of her favourite things to do). Everybody’s (mine, and maybe J’s) stomach went a flutter with butterflies when we first saw the shop and recognized it from the movie.
We passed by 2 interesting statues.
The first, was the statue of Dalida, well her bust actually, quite fittingly. She was a famous French popstar, a real DIVA apparently. She was Italian and Egyptian, maybe even had some gypsy blood in her. Very wild and had an interesting voice. Sadly came to a tragic end.The second statue is of the “man in the wall” from the famous short story by Marcel Aymé, called Le Passe-Muraill (The Walker-Through-Walls). It’s about a man who finds a hidden talent one day; he discovers he can walk through walls. Sadly, like mainly other French stories, the end is not happy. But I’ll leave you to find out what happens. Quite interesting actually.
Cute little Montmartre house.
Passed by le Sacre Coeur but didn’t have time to go in. Obvious, due to the fact that somehow I had only taken a photo of half the church (insanely dumb, but whatever). Next time I’ll try to give a bit more detail about this magnificent church.
Ended the tour with lunch at the café Amélie works in. It’s called, le Café des deux Moulins, which translates to, the Two Windmill Café.
Interesting fact. The reason there are so many “moulins” mentioned in Montmartre, such as the cafe and Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill) is because Montmartre is a high and steep hill. So the whole hill before it became urbanised and a suburb, used to have windmills to grind flour and all those helpful things that windmills do (provide electricity? I doubt it there though). So that’s why there are so many mentions, moulin this moulin that. Funnily enough Moulin Rouge was never a real windmill that was turned into a cabaret bar. The windmill build there is fake and just used for decoration.
Now I’m going to be honest, it was amazing because I recognized so much of it. But also creepy. You’ll see what I mean…
This have this creepy looking shrine dedicated to the film in the bathrooms. Such a weird place to put it. And unexpected. So you know when I’m going to the bathroom, it’s right there and I think…um interesting. Nice to know.
The façade of the café.
The profile side of the café where there isn’t a big, obnoxious white van blocking the view.
And of course, finished off by Mr. Gnome.