• Crowds, Culture, and Cuisine: the Ancient and Modern City

Sacré Coeur, Lock Bridge, and Moulin Rouge

On our second free day we were able to visit sites we, individually, wanted to see. My aunt, who is a flight attendant, was in Paris for the day so she took us to some areas of Paris we had not been to before. First we took the subway to Notre Dame, which we had been to several times before, but this time we went to see the nearby "lock bridge." One of the most amazing structures in the city is Notre Dame. It is the first structure that peeks through the exit of the mwtro and it takes your breath away. We had gone inside and climbed the top of the bell tower the previous day and the view of the city was absolutely incredible. When we got to the lock bridge, which was filled on both sides with millions and millions of locks from visitors before, we each wrote our names on locks and hung them with the rest. We kept our keys so that the next time we come to Paris we can find our locks and open them.

After the lock bridge we took the metro to Sacré Coeur, an amazing church, like many we had visited in other cities, but much diffent as it as on top of a hill overlooking the city of Paris. We went inside the church, filled with beautiful statues and stained glass windows, and then enjoyed some homemade cookies on the steps while soaking in the view. It started to rain so we moved along, walking down the hill through crowds of people and tourist shops the lined the street. We got lunch at a cheap restaurant that sold delicious crepes and fast food. Many of us in the group enjoyed the croque monsieur (grilled cheese with ham) and French fries. 

After lunch, we decided to walk to the Moulin Rouge, as many of us are fans of the movie. After walking through a questionable neighborhood, we finally saw the signature windmill peeking out through the buildings. We took pictures across the street, walked around the lobby area and then walked up the block to the gift shop, which was pretty sparse. After stopping at some tourist shops to pick up a few things for family and friends back home, we rode the metro back to our hostel for the evening.