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Paris Day 8 – Sacre Coeur and Sex Shops

Today we head up to the basilica summit in Montmartre to check out Sacre Coeur and the artist square, then we head down into Pigalle to check out the seedy sex shops and the Museum of Erotic Art. Yes, I took pictures…

After a yummy breakfast, we jumped on the subway and headed all the way out to the 18th to visit Montmartre. Upon arrival, we had the option of using a metro ticket to ride the funicular up to the summit or take the steps. The steps didn’t look too daunting from the bottom and the idea of wasting a metro ticket on the short funicular ride seemed silly. Of course, by the time we were halfway up the stairs, the funicular seemed liked a brilliant idea…

Heading up the stairs to Sacre Coeur. Huff, huff, huff... Should've taken the funicular! Heading up the stairs to Sacre Coeur. Huff, huff, huff… Should’ve taken the funicular! Interesting street art papered to a wall near the steps to Sacre Coeur. Interesting street art papered to a wall near the steps to Sacre Coeur.

We aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the church and none of the folks in our little group were too big on churches anyway. So I snapped a few pictures of the outside and we headed to the artist square for lunch. Kim originally wanted to have our picture done by one of the sketch artists in the square, but we were aghast at the price. They wanted 80 Euros for a black and white charcoal sketch and wouldn’t budge on the price. We checked a couple other vendors and it was all the same. We smelled collusion and left disappointed. I guess photos of us in Paris will have to do for a memento.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in all its shiny white glory. Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in all its shiny white glory. A view from the side of Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. A view from the side of Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.
A panorama of Paris as seen from the Basillica summit. A panorama of Paris as seen from the Basillica summit.

After lunch (and failed haggling on a sketch) we went back down the hill and towards Pigalle, an area of Paris well known for its sex shops, strip clubs, and peep shows. Our goal was to visit the Musée de l’Erotisme (Museum of Erotic Art). The walk there was quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve seen so many neon signs advertising sex in my life.

Don't park illegally in Paris. It takes the parking authority less than 3 minutes to hoist it onto a truck with a crane and make off with it. Don’t park illegally in Paris. It takes the parking authority less than 3 minutes to hoist it onto a truck with a crane and make off with it. A window display at one of the sex shops in Pigalle. I took a picture of this one because all of the items were of the humorous/novelty type. A window display at one of the sex shops in Pigalle. I took a picture of this one because all of the items were of the humorous/novelty type.

Now as you can imagine, most of what I saw in the museum was WAY to erotic/graphic/indecent for me to share on this mostly PG blog, but boy did I take pictures! A few of the items I saw weren’t as overtly graphic as the others and I’ve shared them here. If you want the full experience (in all it’s tackiness), you’ll just have to visit the museum yourself…

Hot monkey love! Hot monkey love! Okay, is this thing indecent, weird, or both? Okay, is this thing indecent, weird, or both?
One of the few non-explicit works of art in the Musée de l'Erotisme. One of the few non-explicit works of art in the Musée de l’Erotisme. I believe this one was called, "The Visitor." I believe this one was called, “The Visitor.”

One of the more famous landmarks in Pigalle is the Moulin Rouge. We didn’t take in a “show,” but I took a picture of the very recognizable “red windmill” exterior. Then of course, there was the “Sexodrome” down the street. We didn’t go in there either…

The Moulin Rouge, the "original" cabaret in Paris - still doing shows nightly! The Moulin Rouge, the “original” cabaret in Paris – still doing shows nightly! How could  I possibly walk by the "Sexodrome" and NOT take a picture of it? How could I possibly walk by the “Sexodrome” and NOT take a picture of it?

Then we got back on the subway and headed home. Kim and I were treated to a yummy steak dinner (with GIANT artichokes) and several glasses of red wine. Sated, we went to sleep with visions of Pigalle (for better or worse) dancing in our heads.

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