Today is labor day in France. We decided to stay in Montmartre for the day as we were not sure what was going to be open in the center of the city. Also, there were some marches planned, and there was a rumor that some people were going to use the marches as a pretense to cause some problems.
Our hotel is very centrally located in Montmartre. We started the day by heading to the cathedral at the top of the hill. Montmartre is located on a pretty good sized hill, and it is a decent climb up to the cathedral. The views of the center of Paris from the cathedral are expansive.
Montmartre is famous for it’s cafe culture, so after spending about an hour deciding which cafe to eat in, we settled in for a lunch and to do what everyone else is doing, people watch. It is an interesting combination of tourists from all over the world, and locals. We enjoyed the lunch, though we had high expectations, and were a little disappointed with our food.
After lunch we took another turn around the area, looking at the sites, and mostly the people. We did a little shopping and went back to the room to drop off our purchases, and take a siesta. Instead of a siesta, we were entertained by watching the riot that had broken out in the center of the city live on TV. A McDonalds was sacked and a it was not a good day to park your Mercedes downtown as it looks like the rioters specifically targeted them for burning.
After we got our fill of watching the TV, we decided to go back up to the cathedral for sunset, and dinner. At the cathedral we saw that we were not the only ones ignoring the riot going on a few miles away as there were several hundred people up enjoying the sunset.
Another thing Paris is famous for are pickpockets, and we noticed a gentleman suddenly confronting a younger man quite loudly. It turns out he noticed that the young guy was trying to get into a woman’s purse, and intervened to stop it. The young guy took off, and the lady rewarded the good samaritan with a couple of kisses on the cheek, and then sat down on top of her purse to finish watching sunset.