Our first stop was Sacre Coeur. It’s the fourth time I’ve visited – I visit it every time I’m in Paris. In my opinion it is much more beautiful than Notre Dame.
The French built the Byzantine-style basilica to atone for their sins in the Franco-Prussian war in the 1870s. Sacre Coeur stays a gleaming bright white thanks to a clever choice in building materials. When rain hits the tiles they leach calcite, which bleaches the building. As we found out that day in Paris, it can rain throughout even the hottest, sunniest weeks of the year.
The gargoyles had their moment to shine while the pigeons huddled under the shallow awnings.
My favourite thing about rainy weather is that it’s the perfect excuse for frequent pit stops at cafes for hot chocolate. We stopped at Cafes Richard, in one of the small winding streets behind Sacre Coeur.
Montmartre is one of Paris’ most charming neighbourhoods, recognisable as the setting for Amelie. The film presented a fairytale (and whitewashed) version of the neighbourhood, and I think it’s even better in reality.
As we headed down the hill behind Sacre Coeur we stumbled across the Montmartre Artist Markets. I was thrilled to pick up this little painting to take home. I took this photo back at the hotel in Paris, it is now right at home sitting up with my champagne I bought in Epernay, Champagne last year and the rest of my motley crew of wine bottles.
What places do you think are better in the rain?