No matter how much you love your travel companion, some days you just want to do your own thing. So, today I struck out on my own for some shopping and sightseeing while John opted to feed his Paris park addiction via another long bike ride.
I headed up to one of my favorite parts of the city, Montmartre, to say “Hello” to Sacre Coeur and its surroundings.
I also sought out the Cimitière du Montmartre where I planned to enjoy a tranquil stroll before heading to lunch. I cut my visit short as they were busy shooting a movie scene there.
After bagging gifts for everyone on my list, I left the shops and art market of Montmartre to feed my own Paris park addiction at Parc Monceau.
This 18th-century park was first established by Phillippe d’Orléans, Duke of Chartres, a cousin of King Louis XVI — both of whom lost their heads in the French Revolution. It’s filled with follies, replicas of objects from other times and places, which were popular in parks/gardens at the time. Consequently, you can see what looks like the remains of a Roman colonnade…
as well as an Egyptian pyramid.
In the 19th century, Baron Haussman made Parc Monceau the first public park in his transformation of the city. Many statues of famous writers and painters were added — all of which have young women (wives, daughters, or mistresses?) gazing adoringly up at the gentleman immortalized in stone.
All except for this one statue. She just looked terribly bored and unaware of His Greatness.
Parc Monceau contains the obligatory French carousel which seems to populate every public space in the country.
I chose to visit Parc Monceau today mainly because it is extremely easy to get to. Step up out of the Monceau metro station on Line 2 and voila — the ornate, old gate leading into the park is right there.
But it turned out to be a delightful surprise! It was a great way to cap off a day on my own.