Another Day in Paris (part 2)

After meeting-up with Sandrine along the road (actually, at the 70's-style roundabout shown in the previous post) we made our way back along the streets, to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, near our apartment, for a sunny stroll around the lake. Right in the middle of the lake, itself in the middle of the park, is an impressive limestone island, topped-off by a small temple-like structure. I could not work out whether this was an artificial structure or a natural rock protrusion but, either way, an impressive site.

  Like something out of a Conan Doyle novel, the island looms over the lake and, below, the arched boughs of trees reach down to the water, as if to quench a thirst

Like something out of a Conan Doyle novel, the island looms over the lake and, below, the arched boughs of trees reach down to the water, as if to quench a thirst

Suitably suffused with green, we leave the park behind and head for the Canal St. Martin for another water-bound stroll. Following the Rue de Crimée north from the park, we soon came to an un-named bridge that raises to allow the pleasure boats to pass below.

And, from the footbridge to the right, we were treated to an excellent view up the canal, beyond the wonderfully juxtaposed styles of the buildings either side, to the Bassin de la Villete at the end.

After a drink on one of the floating bars moored on the banks, we made our way along the canal to the Jaurés metro, passing pétanque players and fellow strollers, to the Bassin and back on to the Parisian streets. We pass the King of the Roundabout (below) on the way to get a train to the Montmartre; a steep hill, covered in the Paris-typical narrow streets and once home to the city's bohemian culture until gentrification in the 1960's (apparently).

  A lone man sits in the centre of a busy roundabout like a king proclaiming sovereignty over his lands

A lone man sits in the centre of a busy roundabout like a king proclaiming sovereignty over his lands

Once there, we make our way up the steep steps, fighting (almost literally) past early-evening revellers spilling out from the wine bars on either side, to the top of the mount. Here, we are greeted by a large crowd gathered at the base of the cathedral, their faces turned to the incredible view of the city below. Their cheers and applause seem, I feel, a little over-appreciative of the sight until we realise that they are, in fact, responding to the antics of an incredibly athletic man dancing, with his football, from atop a lamppost. 

  Iya Traoré  (www.iya.fr) , a Guinean making his way in Paris, literally dances with his football; the city he has made his home stretches out below him.     Nearby, soldiers patrol the crowd

Iya Traoré (www.iya.fr), a Guinean making his way in Paris, literally dances with his football; the city he has made his home stretches out below him.

Nearby, soldiers patrol the crowd

The sun is very much setting now and, our stomachs beginning to complain, we head back down the hill to find food.

  Sandrine prepares for the descent and then, below, stops-off in a souvenir shop to find gifts for the wee bairns, left behind at home with their grandparents

Sandrine prepares for the descent and then, below, stops-off in a souvenir shop to find gifts for the wee bairns, left behind at home with their grandparents

Finally, and before I can allow us to eat, I (again, almost literally) drag Sandrine into Pigalle and along the Boulevard de Clichy to, possibly, Paris' most infamous landmark of all; 

Needless to say, she stopped short of stepping inside so, instead, we bought some wine and snacks and headed back to the apartment for our last night in Paris.

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