Klook.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre: Paris Scare Experienced First Hand

Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre
Under my half-opened eyes, I swore that I’ll visit this Parisian minor basilica early in the morning, at around 6:00 A.M., when the city of Paris was about to wake up and go up and about, but my drowsy mood ended up deciding to sleep longer instead. The warmness of the hugging pillows and sheets were more than sufficient motives for me to do a half-day stay-cation. A staycation within a vacation, why not? Besides, when you just arrive in Paris literally 12 hours before the planned visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, famously known as the Sacré-Cœur Basilicayou either make things happen or make excuses. Definitely, an unwanted excuse, but an excuse made... little did I know that this excusable delay was the very reason why I’ve experienced a sort of frightening “near-death” like experience in Sacré-Cœur a few hours after that. Can you just imagine, just before reaching the summit of the Sacré-Cœur to buy Sacré-Cœur tickets, I was welcomed by this surreal sense of scare? No miraculous apparition, no clouds opening from the sky, and certainly nothing too mystical. Yikes.


Historically speaking, I easily get scared of people who are scary-looking. You know, the ones that have that prisoner-persona that’s too challenging to brush off. Maybe because I grew up in the infamous cities within Metro Manila. My mom’s basic rule of law was all about “everyone’s out to do wicked things”, “watch out for yourself”, “don’t talk to strangers”, and “be wary of the bad-looking people”. Of course, this seems to be an absolutely usable rule of thumb, especially if there are so many petty criminals running around the streets of the Philippine capital. But nowadays, I believe that I’ve become so street-smart because of that training, so much so that I don’t simply get fearful of such kinds of faces or places. I was trained well, I thought. Now fast forward to present Paris time: How can things go wrong, even in a first-world country, I don’t think so.... or that’s what I thought. The Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre doesn’t seem to be a place for these kinds of people, especially since it’s considered a sacred sanctuary for spiritual individuals, or for tourists who’d like to get a feel for some authentic Catholic Church experience. No room for the scary-looking, almost true, but actually false. Surprise!


The steps leading to the Sacré-Cœur were quite exciting at first because there are so many choices of souvenirs and tourist-trap food fares to choose from. Walk here, sniff there. Shop here, eat there. Leisurely walking and pretending like a local, I nonchalantly marched the steps of the church... then all of a sudden, a swarm of giant-height, antagonistic-looking, verbally aggressive dark-skinned French people, carrying these chains of miniature Eiffel tower and bright colored bracelets circled me. Like a flock of angry vultures, they surrounded me and forced me to first buy their key chains, speaking in dark husky negative voice. They resorted to forcefully making me wear the bracelets, asking me to wear it (or else they will kill me stare). I thought I came face to face with death, my soul just jumped out of my body that very instant. Fear started to pierce through my chest, mouth started to dry, and I couldn’t utter any Asian, English, or any word at all. The fact was, I was petrified.



The inner street smart in me, coupled with the fight-or-flight chance, I held my ground and briskly walked like any stereotypical crazy Asian would be, didn’t give in to what they wanted, and finally reached the top of the Sacré-Cœur. Honestly, the panoramic view on top was unbelievable – but the level of fear almost helped me forget that. I looked back once again to see the future victims, and most of the tourists they pick on are either Asians or couples. It’s quite an observation because different people had dissimilar reactions, some gave in, others fought back, others were clueless. Took me a couple more minutes before I started to have a chance to direct my attention towards the La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre. The architecture alone deserved much appreciation, but what’s even more deserving is the overlooking view. You can see the entire Paris right in front of you. Such beauty.

Main entrance: Forecourt of the Basilica, open from 6:00 A.M. to 11:30 P.M.
Admission to the Home of Adoration Nights and the EPHREM Welcome House
35, Rue Du Chevalier - De - La – Bar 75018 Paris, France



Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
After touring around the Tour Montparnasse and hunting for ghosts around the Catacombs of Paris, the seemingly practical thing to do is to take a short stroll around the illustrious Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg), which is only less than a mile from these two places. Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France, the name Luxembourg comes from the Latin Mons Lucotitius, the name of the hill where the garden is located. It’s so popular, and so overpopulated with people and tourists, it’s hard to imagine how “ugly” the place can be. What I’ve found out is that, despite all its features, and famed corners with beautiful garden greeneries, there’s somewhat of a slightly ugly side to it that only happens during rainy times.


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens

I know it’s hard to comprehend the idea of “ugly”, especially since the gardens, which cover at least 25 hectares of land, and split into French and English gardens here in the Luxembourg Gardens are really amazing; but, I found it ugly, because the time that I was there, it was damp, dirty, and leafless. I know, it’s shallow and a bit too much to use “ugly” as a description, but the filtered dream state of how I felt it should have looked is quite different from how it is realistically. The imposing geometric forest, large pond, and a greenhouse, not to mention, the gardens, were covered with gray afternoon rain that I was left thwarted with anxiety and waiting.


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens

No chance to take photos of the apples, orchids, roses, and maybe the statues? I didn’t miss seeing the monumental Medici fountain, the Orangerie and the Pavillon Davioud, but I was not able to take a good look at it, and much more take photos or videos, because the rain was so generous that week that everything and everyone on plain sight looked drenched. I heard that on a sunny day, there are many activities and facilities for everyone, even children, to enjoy. There are cultural programmes, exhibitions, and festivals that are held here, but sadly, the rainout was so intense, all that’s left to do was to stand and wait and leave. Yes, in that order.


bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens

So, maybe I am exaggerating a tad bit, because I was able to take photos, actually. Videos, not so much. But in any case, if you are interested to see how it looks like when it’s raining, here are they. It isn’t too ugly, or dull, or dim, but maybe because the place is just being its Parisian way, very appealing (still). So, let’s all enjoy it at the comfort of our dry laptops haha! :-)


Address: 75006 Paris, France
Construction started: 1612
Phone: +33 1 42 34 20 00
Did you know: The Luxembourg Gardens were created in 1612 by Queen Marie de Medici, inspired by the famous gardens in Florence.

bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens
bowdywanderscom Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo Paris, France: The Ugly Side of Luxembourg Gardens



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Klook.com