Paris 2016: Day Four

Our last morning in Paris was spent walking around the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre, including a visit to the Sacré-Coeur

January 03, 2016

Our last day was a short one, because our return flight left at 17:00, meaning we needed to be at Orly Airport by 16:00 at the latest. Still, we wanted to make the most out of what little time we had left, so instead of just waiting around until it was time to go to the airport, we decided to spend our last morning visiting the bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre.

We entered the Metro in Châtelet and took line 14 until Madeleine station, then switched over to line 12 until Abbesses station, located right in the middle of Montmartre and just a short walk away from the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, our main goal for the day.

The Sacré-Cœur is perhaps my favorite spot in all of Paris. There’s just something unique about it that makes it stand out from everything else the city has to offer, and that’s saying something.

With pristine white walls and standing atop a steep hill, it almost reminds me of the mythical White City of Minas Tirith from The Lord of the Rings. Almost.

Now, another peculiar thing about the Sacré-Cœur is that, in order to reach it, you have to get up the hill first. There’s a popular funicular that takes you all the way to the top, but since it was our last day we decided to walk instead. We slowly made it to the top, chatting with other visitors and trying to avoid the many street vendors that relentlessly pursue tourists along the way, until we eventually reached the basilica.

It was every bit as imposing as I remembered it from years ago. We were even lucky enough to get inside while Mass was in session, which was a very interesting experience. I’m admittedly not a religious person, but even I was impressed by the solemnity of the place.

All in all, it was the perfect way to cap a fantastic trip.

As soon as we left the Sacré-Cœur it started raining again, so I had to be careful while taking some of these shots. Thankfully, the Sony α7 II is weather-sealed, as are all my lenses,1 so I wasn’t too concerned about the equipment.

Still, after three days of poor weather we had certainly had enough of it, so we quickly walked back to the Metro and returned to the hotel to pick up our luggage.

We had barely enough time to grab something to eat before leaving. Luckily, we had booked a private transfer service from the hotel to Orly airport, and our driver showed up with perfect timing.

On our way to the airport we had a very interesting discussion on world politics with our driver, who seemed to be an expert in all things humans. I love talking to people, so the entire trip went by in the blink of an eye for me, although Miriam was not so amused. Before I could realize, we were already at the airport, and it was finally time to say goodbye to the City of Light.

Adieu, Paris.

Or, to be more optimistic, à bientôt.

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  1. Except for the rented Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L lens, which I didn’t use at all that day.