20 October 2015

Paris Trip 3

Daily a long snaking line forms on the street across from our hotel. People are waiting to get into the Catacombs. I am intrigued! So this morning we head out to get into the line before the Catacombs opens. We arrive at 9:30 – and get in a little after it opens at 10. We descend 130 steps into the earth into a dank and dark system of tunnels.

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Stone sculptures grace the dark tunnels.

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Tall arches grace a large room.

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And then a sign:

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“Halt, this is the empire of the dead.”

Shouldn't be too bad. Just some coffins, right?

Wrong.

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For moments I stare in disbelief. I hadn't expected piles of bones. Piles of bones neatly stacked with skulls placed sometimes in patterns.

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“Happy is he who is forever faced with the hour of his death and prepares himself for the end every day.”

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We walked a long time through these bone-decorated passageways. So long that I hungered to be away, up, back into the sun and the bustle of modern, living Paris. I think John felt the same way.

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We climb up out of the darkness onto a brightly lit street. A souveneir store awaits: “Don’t panic, we will all be bones one day” adorns keychains and magnets and postcards.

Back in our room we plan our next adventure, looking out our sunny window at the living.

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We are going on a boat ride on the canals of Paris! It lasts over two hours and Rick Steves advises to bring our own lunch and wine.

Here is our boat. We sat up on top.

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Views from the boat.

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We come to our first lock.

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The lock closes.

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Lock on other side.

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The smoking lady.

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Street view.

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Inside a very long tunnel.

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Back at dock.

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We went back to a restaurant near our hotel and shared a nice salad of eggs and ham plus and order of cheese and wine. This became our favorite restaurant — I took photos of several bottles of the wine we got there. But, it’s hard to find these really good French wines in the US (or even Paris), as they are small wineries that don’t produce a lot.

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