Montmartre, where we finally got to after all the unexpected adventures, has long been a place at which many artists gather since the 19th century, and like St-Germain-des-Prés, where many private studios locate. Around two years into his life in Paris, Monet started studying in a private studio in Montmartre and met Pissaro and Cézanne who also studied under the same teacher.
On top of the Montmartre hill, the highest point of Paris, sits the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur which could be seen even from afar. Unlike many other historical churches in Europe, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, completed in 1914, is a few years shy of a century old.
During the Franco-Prussian War in 1970-71, when Paris was besieged by the Prussian army, it is from the summit of Montmartre hill where the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur stands now that the French statesman Léon Gambetta was sent out in a ballon delivering mails and military information to the auxiliaries.
However, speaking of Montmartre and the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, people who have seen the beloved French movie "Amélie" might still remember that after the Montmartre native Amélie picked up the photo album belonging to the guy she had a crush on, she directed him to Montmartre to collect the photo album.
When the guy first got the Montmartre, Amélie instructed him to follow the arrows on the stairs all the way to theBasilique du Sacré-Cœur from a pay phone right next to this marry-go-round. (Unfortunately, almost all of the pay phones here have been removed.)
After he climbed to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, he was guided by a little boy to witness, through a telescope, the disguised Amélie placing the photo album into the compartment of his motorbike near the marry-go-round.
This was their closest encounter before they really got to know each other.
When we arrived at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, a street artist strumming his guitar, singing several English songs, attracted a big audience.
Photography is strictly prohibited inside the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Being a rule-follower, I didn't even try to snap any shot in there. The interior of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur is very nice but by no means matches Notre-Dame. What is odd to me is that in either the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Nortre-Dame or the Viennese Stephansdom, there are boxes for believers to throw in money in exchange of lighting up a candle for preyers. It might be because of its scale or whatsoever, it seems that there are many more such boxes in the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur than in other cathedrals. Somehow, such a secular notion just doesn't feel right in such a divine place to me. But of course, it's just my personal opinion.
As mentioned above, even until now, Montmartre has been a place where artists gather; therefore, it is not unusual to see painters doing a portrait of some tourist on the street.
There is a tiny plaza nicknamed Painters' Square where many artists showcase and sell their works and paint simultaneously on demand.
Along the narrow alley down the hill, there are several shops selling reproductions of all kinds posters and paintings as well.
The place where Vincent van Gogh once stay in Montmartre is open for tourists. We strolled down the zigzag pathway relying on the fate to either lead us to the van Gogh apartment or not.
What was unforeseeable is that the so-called fate didn't take us to van Gogh but to Amélie.
(It's just a stray cat we ran into)
Along the way, Sunny whose girly small bladder had been overloaded kept mumbling that I needed to pee. Eventually, I just couldn't hold it any more, or I would pee on my paints, so Mr. T suggested us make a pee stop and get some drink at a nearby cafe' which was quite happening.
Only after I used the toilet, did I notice that in the hallway to the restroom, there were several dolls identical to the one in the movie "Amélie" that she stole from her father's garden and asked her stewardess friend to carry around and take photos of. Just like that, I got curious and saw the huge posters of the movie on the wall.
We finally got to learn that this is the cafe' where Amélie works in the film.
如果有心想走一趟的話，這家咖啡廳名叫Café des 2 Moulins，位置如下：
If one intends to visit, the name of the cafe is "Café des 2 Moulins", location as shown below: