Day 30: Sacre Coeur

This day is all about the beautiful church that is the Sacre Coeur.

I checked out of my hotel early to head the few blocks to the most beautiful church in Paris. The odd thing was that since I was heading to Morocco in the afternoon, I went ahead and slipped on the wedding bands onto my ring finger. I walked out and headed to Sacre Coeur, only to find that my entire walk there was WEDDING CENTRAL.

Universe, are you trying to tell me something? [For those reading the European adventures…follow the universe’s breadcrumbs.]

The entire walk up to the Sacred Heart (what Sacre Coeur is in English) was filled with wedding shop after wedding shop. From the wedding gowns to the bridesmaid dresses to the groom’s tuxedo to the flowers, cakes, shoes, lingerie and wedding gifts…it’s all there. You are bound to find what you’re looking for in this 1/2 mile of RUE de LA MARIAGE!

That’s not the name, but it should be.

It kind of freaked me out in a weird way, because I’m supposed to pretend like I’m married to someone back in the States while I’m in Morocco. I slip the rings on and instantly, you see a change in the attitude of French men. You see the, “Oh, Bon…” and then they’re like ooppsss…didn’t realize you were married. LOL.

It was rather funny to say the least, but at the same time, I kind of missed all of these beautiful French men approaching me just to say “Bon Jour, Madame,” in that sexy tone. Trust me, it’s very flattering.

When I finally reached the Sacre Coeur, I was accosted by some men trying to put a bracelet on my wrist. They practically block your way up the walkway to the Sacre Coeur just to tie one on. I almost punched one of them for trying to touch me.

They’ll even try to chase you up the steps, just to get one of these bracelets on you. I assume it’s their way of making you pay for something you didn’t want to begin with.

Right after I passed them, an artist came up to me and asked me if he could draw me. I said, “No.” He then started begging which meant I turned a deaf ear on him. He’s no different than those bracelet guys.

After getting through that labyrinth of petty peddlers, I saw her in her absolute majesty. She was so beautiful.

I tried to find a way to go up the steps without being accosted by more of these scam artists and found the more scenic route. This route allowed me to photograph the beautiful gardens to the left of the climb. It was free of most tourists (who try to take the direct path up…which is actually the bigger workout).

I found that in Paris, I manage to always pick up a few stray tourists wanting to be better photographers. A couple saw me photographing Sacre Coeur with the flowers in front of it and then realized that they wanted similar photos.

I don’t mind picking up stray tourists that want photos like this. It actually makes me happy that they are seeing the world through my eyes…finding the beauty in the moment. Trust me, if I find more experienced photographers, I like to hang around, shoot photos, and listen to them, especially when they talk about lighting. Lighting is very important.

Then again, I almost want to tell them, eh…if the photo doesn’t work out you can use a program to fix the photo. If it wasn’t for photo editing…I’d have so much extra crap in photos that I don’t want. All I want is the moment I saw in that photo, not the stuff surrounding it.

As I made my way up to the top of the hill, I came across a harpist that was playing a lot of oldies I grew up with…I’m talking childhood songs that I used to sing that came from my favorite black and white movies. It was nice to sit down and photograph him with the city of Paris behind him. It reminded me a lot of the little trio I saw outside of Prague Castle a few years ago.

Afterwards, I headed on up to the church to photograph the architecture outside. To this day, I still have not gone into the church. I don’t know. Me and churches don’t always get along too well…unless it’s in Prague. I can feel God there. But in other places, I’m not amazed.

In order for Sacre Coeur to remain sacred in my heart, I like to see her from the outside. That’s where her beauty is. I’m afraid to go in and see that she’s not as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. Based on how quickly tourists file in and out of her…kind of tells me there’s not much to see on the inside.

As I headed back out of the church yard, I heard a violinst playing “My Heart Will Go On.”  Now, I never cry to that song.  But for some reason, the way the violinist was playing it, I got really choked up and started to cry.  It reminded me of Kevin and one of those “God, I wish he was here” moments.

I pulled myself together and started to make my way to the stairs when that artist from earlier saw me again and begged me to let him draw me.  I realized he was just looking for a test subject, not money.  He had seen that I was fighting back the tears and commented about how beautiful my eyes were.  Would I let him draw me?

Yeah…no time…gotta get to Morocco!

Oh, and I should mention that suitcase #2 that I bought in Courbevoise…broke down. Or shall I say…it came apart. I’m not kidding! It didn’t survive the cobblestones in Paris!

It is now staying together thanks to my ONE rubber band. I knew I should have packed two of them!

When I say it’s broken down, it means that the wheels are broken or coming off. When I bought this one, it came with nine wheels. I am using only four now. I have a total of six wheels left, because I lost 3 somewhere between Gare de l’Est and the hotel. When I get back to the States, the hunt is on for a qualitative suitcase where the wheels can withstand the terrors of my travels.

Since I’m still on Day 30, and I actually arrived in Morocco on Day 30, I will only share this…

First night was in Casablanca. Guess what hotel I stayed in? The Royal Mansour Le Meridien. It won’t sound familiar to you, but the lobby was featured in Sex and the City 2. It’s where they try the tea when they first arrive, and the football players come parading through. That lobby is in this hotel.

I was quite surprised when I was sitting there. I felt like I was in the movie, when my driver informed me that this was in SATC2. Sweet, right?

I’ll tell you more on Day 31, because that’s when the Moroccan adventure truly begins. 😉


About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind