Paris Sacre Coeur Protest! My “Hitch Hiking” Adventure Has Riot Police + The Best Hitchcock Film He Never Made!

Welcome To Paris!

I was in Paris in May, and was excited to see the classic beauty of the city on display. I was also happy to see that renovation on Notre Dame was already underway, with aggressive goals to have it reopens fully to the public again…

Paris is filled with classic Architecture and modern innovation in equal measure, but I also love just hiking on a “regular” street and seeing the city by foot!

Time To Hike The Streets Of Paris!

My latest “Hitch Hiking” adventure involves a lengthy hike from The Bastille up to the greatest view of Paris – just under 3 miles!

Oh, and for added measure, I’ve got Paris Police action as well! But first, let’s get you up there!

Hiking Up Sacre Coeur!

Yes, it IS a hike! Getting to the legendary Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris means hiking up a lot of steps, but you are rewarded with a spectacular view of Paris!

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church in Paris. It’s the second most visited monument in Paris, at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.

There are at least 300 steps just to get from the landing area to the front of the entrance, but when I got there, I had some very colorful company…

OK, it’s Paris – “Les Miz” and all that, but these folks were planted directly in front of the entrance…

Not knowing what the protest was all about, I noticed the signs were full of war imagery…and then I shot this short video to show you who was watching closely…

Yes, there were at least 50 riot-geared police standing by – a few with tear gas dispensers, and most with riot shields…

While they seemed relaxed, I noticed at least a dozen police wagons nearby, so they were watching the protest and I assume were ready to break it up or move in if they had to..but as you can see, it was relaxed and they chatted up everyone and didn’t take any sort of hostile stance…

I checked the news sites later that day and found nothing about this protest – so it didn’t escalate at all – people wandered freely and the police just kept an eye on the protest,

I decided to head back to my hotel, and I walked it in order to keep my hike going – and boy, did I!

My final walking tally for the day:

34,667 steps and 15.97 miles!

As the sun set in Paris, I decided to find a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie to make this “Hitch Hike” tale complete – and I did even better: I found the best Hitchcock movie he never made!

“Charade!”

This 1963 film is known as “the best film Hitchcock never made!”

Legendary stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn star in this terrific cat-and-mouse mystery thriller set in Paris – here is the trailer:

Here’s the plot:

Regina Lampert’s husband is murdered – and the French police, the American government, and 3 rather insistent men all think Regina knows where her dead husband’s money is…raising the question: what’s real and what’s a “Charade?”

“Charade” is a terrific comic thriller, with Grant and Hepburn both at ease and having a blast in the film – it was directed by Stanley Donen, who made many classic films, like “Singing In The Rain.”

He has a masterful touch here, which is one reason it has earned a reputation as:

“The Best Hitchcock Film That Alred Hitchcock Didn’t Make!”

So there’s my latest “Hitch Hike”: a Paris police action and a classic Parisian thriller NOT directed by Hitchcock…

That said, one other hike I took in Paris could have come from a Hitchcock thriller…

Yes, I stumbled upon the most famous cemetary in the world: Pere Lachaise, where Jim Morrison and many other stars are buried!

Here’s a look at some of the famous gravesites – and incredible walk through history:

https://johnrieber.com/2019/06/25/my-search-for-jim-morrisons-grave-the-most-famous-cemetery-in-the-world-my-pere-lachaise-paris-tour/

Of course, these two “urban hikes” were nothing like my last adventure:

The Many “Faces” Of Joshua Tree!

On my last “Hitch Hiking” post, I shared these photos of incredible rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park that look like people!

Of course, that led me to share the Hitchcock classic “The Wrong Man” as well – click my story to understand why:


https://johnrieber.com/2019/04/11/the-amazing-scenery-of-joshua-tree-national-park-hitch-hiking-12-has-the-incredible-faces-of-nature/

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…

https://johnrieber.com

Thanks so much for reading!

Let me know if you’ve “hiked” Sacre Coeur!



Categories: British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Great Films, Memoirs, Movies, Paris, Politics, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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20 replies

  1. Excellent pics!! Thanks for sharing! -Maggie

  2. 35 000 steps is a lot, John. The most we have done in a day on our Scotland holiday is 14 000. That sure is a lot of steps. I haven’t done it but may in the future. Who knows?

  3. Glad you didn’t have any troubles with the riot. Your best shot that captured my fancy was the street with the sunset highlighting the top half of the building.

  4. The view from Sacré Cœur is stunning – and well worth the walk. I can’t remember the name of the subway station but there were hundreds of steps, literally, to climb in order to get to street level.

  5. I finally got to Paris last year and loved it! We visited Sacre Coeur at night, by car but it was gorgeous. A great view!

  6. Thanks for the wonderful tour of Paris John. I’m glad the protest never got violent.

    • Thank you for commenting – as someone mentioned, these protests are apparently now a regular part of Paris life…it was just strange to see 50 riot police ready to go, no matter how relaxed they were acting…

  7. I’ve never been in Paris! So thanks for this tour! 🙂 I love Charade! I knew about protests in Paris. It’s going on Saturdays for months now. You may found more information about it on YouTube.

    • That’s a great point…in fact, it WAS on a Saturday when I was there! Thanks for commenting…Paris is one of the greatest cities int he world: food, architecture, parks, museums and just walking the streets!

  8. I have made the walk to the Sacre Coeur a couple of times, John. But I was much younger then!
    The protest was almost certainly the ‘Gilets Jaunes’, the ‘Yellow Vests’. It has gone on for a long time now, and is reported here all the time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_vests_movement
    Best wishes, Pete.

  9. Paris is a lovely town have not been in a few years!

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