Saturday, August 23, 2008

Permanent Parisians

Day 165
After chatting with Eliane over breakfast I headed into the city. Commuting to Paris for a week was going to be fun.

My first stop was the Catacombs. Some time ago there was a big problem with overcrowding in cemeteries. They smelled and the bones were protruding from the earth. To clean up the city the bones were moved to the catacombs. They were arranged by the cemetery they had come from. Instead of just stacking them up people thought it would be more fun to arrange them artistically.

After waiting in line for about an hour I started down the 100 or so steps. I then followed several winding hallways. I hadn’t even gotten to the bones and it was already creepy. In fact, it seemed like forever before I even got to the really creepy part. Pictures were allowed, but only without flash. It seemed like I was the only one who had listened to this though.

Nestled among the bones were some famous people. I didn’t recognize any of them though. As much as I enjoy creepy things after about 20 minutes of bone lined hallways I was about done. I was almost happy to climb the 83 steps at the end. Up top there was a pile of skulls and bones, these were the ones that people had tried to steal that day. I don’t know how they ever caught anyone though, no one was there as I exited.

After getting lost and then giving up for a bit and just grabbing lunch I headed to the Pantheon. This is basically where some famous French guys were buried. There is also some nice artwork here. I paid my respects to Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and the Curries. It was odd, there were several crypts just sitting there empty. I don’t know if there was ever anyone there or if they were waiting for people to die.

Upstairs was a huge pendulum. Right next to it was a small cat statue. This had been a clue in the first season of the Amazing Race. This was really why I came!

When I exited the Pantheon I could see the Eiffel Tower. I had forgotten that this was here too.

I then walked back to the train station and waited in a very long line to book a ticket for my next night train. Eventually I ended up back in Lagny. After more good food Eliane and I chatted before heading off to bed.


DresdenFae said...

Ugg, been having an awful time finding a place to update in Denmark that doesn´t cost an arm in a leg. Don´t worry though, I´ll get there eventually!


Anonymous said...

The Pantheon is where the French bury their most acclaimed dead dudes. So, yes: the empties you saw are for future Frenchies of the dead variety. One has to be dead at least 20 years before they are even considered for the Pantheon. Louis Braille's tomb impressed me the most; his etched name worn down by the many hands of blind people who have come there to pay respects. Uncle Stephen