April 30 - Montmartre, Pompidou, Cluny and Napolean's Tomb
It was another nice, clear day when we awoke. To take advantage of it we planned an outdoor activity. We were fortified by a good breakfast which included omelets.
We walked over to our local Metro stop (Maubourg). We transferred at Madeleine and got off at Abesses. The climb to the surface up a spiral staircase had pleasant surprise of artwork on the walls.
We were not finished with the stairs yet. We still had lots of climbing until we reach the top of the hill at Place du Tertre. This leafy square is surrounded by artists and fake Bohemians. After all, this is where many of the famous painters hung out. It is the heart of Montmartre. You can have one of the artists make a sketch of you or you can buy other artist's paintings. You can also sit in one of the cafés and watch the tourists go by. It is a fun place to visit.
We walked through the square and over to Sacre Coeur, counting the gargoyles as we did so. As we reached the cathedral, we were surrounded by swarms of tourists of all nationalities. We peeked into the church and then walked down some beautiful side steps that were empty of tourists. Once we reached the bottom, I was able to turn around and take of photo of the church.
We wandered around the area trying to find Moulin Rouge. I wanted to have a photo of it so I could compare it to Dutch windmills which we just saw in Holland. We couldn't find it though so we walked back to a Metro station and rode over to Pompidou Center.
Our first order of business at Pompidou was to find a rest room and then find a cafe. We were successful. Both of us had sandwiches at the cafe and I even found some good chips.
We took our time going through the permanent exhibit on the fifth floor. This is one of the greatest collections of modern art. We saw works by Matisse, Picasso, Kandinski, Chagall, Dali, Miro and many others. The exhibition featured works by artists around the world. We were saturated.
We got on the Metro again and found our way to the Cluny Museum. The Cluny contains a treasure trove of art from the Middle Ages. It has displays of stained glass, swords, jewels and decapitated heads from Notre Dame statues. The major display is a series of six tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn. Ann and I sat in its room a tried to absorb the beauty. This was Ann's favorite moment of the day.
When we left the Cluny, we stopped at a small cafe and had forgettable brioches, coffee and hot chocolate. This got us back on the Metro to our home station.
Dinner was a repeat at Petit Cler. We both had veal stew with rice along with a green salad.