Excursion around the capital of France. Part 2

The capital of France can not only amaze with pomposity and brilliance. This can be seen by going down to the Paris metro. The stations are very close to each other, some come to the surface. It provides for the announcement of stops only on the main lines and in the carriages of the new generation, and on the remaining branches it is necessary to follow the names of the stations and open the doors yourself. Some stations require you to show the used token when you exit. Not knowing this, you can run into serious trouble. Parisians are very friendly to those who at least try to say something in French. At the worst, you can speak in English. But the German language in France does not accept at all and basically refuse to teach it.

Further our way lies on Montmartre (in translation from the French - "hill of the martyrs") - one of the oldest and most interesting quarters of Paris. Coming out of the metro, the city fascinates us with the next architectural masterpieces. The area is similar to a disturbed anthill. In any weather, the revitalization reigns literally everywhere: in the muddy shop windows, on the pavement and bicycle paths, in the foul-smelling cafes. In a monotonous street rumor, a police siren's wail crashes.

We are attracted by the narrow street, reminiscent of the Soviet flea market late 80's. The booming trade here does not stop for a minute. And dumped in a heap, washed by rainfall goods are scattered right on the sidewalk. Lonelytourists are constantly attacked by artists who are only 15 minutes to paint a portrait or a caricature. Well, Montmartre has always been a favorite place for painters: at one time Renoir, Degas and many other celebrities lived and worked here. And despite the fact that after the First World War, the role of the bohemian quarter went to Montparnasse, Montmartre today attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. On the top of the hill is the famous Sacré-Coeur Cathedral, built in 1876. Here you have to be especially careful: on the observation deck, from where magnificent views of Paris open. Emigrants are the real scourge of Paris. The dimensions of the disaster can be illustrated by figures: today the Parisian population is no more than 40% of the urban population.

One Paris, however good it is, France is not limited. Therefore, for completeness of sensations, we will go from the provinces to see the castles of the Loire. The right place is a three-hour drive from Paris. There is no pretentiousness and fuss, nature is struck by the cleanliness and beauty of the city, and the inhabitants are a real French heritage, which today can only be heard in old French films. It is this France, with its small covered tiles houses, quiet picturesque lawns and dense forests, described in the works of the classic French literature.

Castles in the Loire are dozens, and they are scattered all over the area. Therefore we will visit only two of them: Chambord, the famous lady, designed by Leonardo daVinci commissioned by the King and Cbenonceau. Admiring the serrated toothed vaults of both castles, wandering in the endless emptiness of the royal worries, almost untouched by time, we are transported to the distant past - during the palace revolutions, ingenious cardinals and knight tournaments. The imagination draws a shadow, hidden in the depths of the castles of the shadow. In a word, Gothic! Quite apart - the famous royal palace of Versailles, located just 20 km from Paris.

As compared with the luxurious palaces of Russian autocrats overflowing, Versailles looks rather simple. It seems that the French kings were large-margin, or our emperors had more money. One way or another, but the enthusiasm for the "masterpiece of French art of the XVII century" looks exaggerated.