Paris is a great city for walkers because the main attractions are within a compact area. Use the metro for easy access to the best walking routes. Near the Abbesses station decorated in Art Nouveau style, climb steep steps or take the funicular to the top. 


Montmartre's landmark, the Sacre-Coeur basilica, is in Romano-Byzantine style. There are extensive views over the city. Continue to Place du Tertre. The picturesque square is the highest point in Paris. Artists display their skills while tourists have their portraits drawn or relax in cafés. Two centuries ago, La Mere Catherine was popular with Russian Cossacks who banged on restaurant tables shouting ‘bistro', meaning ‘quick.' Many eating places are now called bistros. Descend downhill along Rue Norvins past Moulin de la Galette. That old windmill is not as renowned as the Moulin Rouge, the venue for glittering can-can shows.

Visit Montmartre cemetery, the last resting place of artistic and literary celebrities including Offenbach who composed can-can music. I discovered an Irish connection in the cemetery. A Celtic Cross is inscribed to the memory of Myles Byrne, 1780-1862, a United Irishman who became a French army officer. Wexford football colours indicated a recent Irish visit to this evocative place.

After our tour, it was apt that an Irish pub provided refreshments, near Place de Clinchy.

Tony Quinn