Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Deep Down Under Paris

Today, I explored deep down under Paris in the Catacombs. It was really cool - I haven't seen that many bones since Nicole Ritchie went through her anorexic phase! Somewhere in all of those piles of bones was the remains of Robespierre, Danton, and Desmoulins (3 of my favorites from the French Revolution!) I really thought all of the bones and skulls were amazing...I loved the thought that all of these things used to make up 6,000 people who were a part of history. While I was completely fascinated, there were several people who were creeped out. The one woman was clearly petrified, which I didn't quite get. I tried to make her feel better and told her not to worry because they couldn't hurt her, but she gave me a look that indicated I wasn't funny and should leave her alone. Some people have no sense of humor...
After the Catacombs, we went to find the Picpus cemetery where General LaFayette was buried, as well as over a thousand people who lost their heads in the French Revolution. We wandered around the area that was marked on the map but couldn't find the cemetery so we asked a shop owner. "Ferme!" he said...apparently, it no longer exists. Stacey and I drank a Coke and pondered where would a cemetery with a mass grave of 1300 people and General LaFayette disappear to? We concurred that the whole notion is disturbing, not to mention disappointing!

Even though I didn't get to see what would have been the most amazing cemetery ever, we did have a nice long metro ride where we were serenaded by a guy with a guitar. He actually sounded really good and had an enjoyable voice AND he sang 4 songs. I gave him a euro because he made the trip a little nicer...
The real adventure today, however, took place while waiting for the Catacombs to open. We decided to go check out Galleries LaFayette on the first day of "Soldes." Parisian stores don't put items on sale except during a 5-week period of "soldes" (sales) that run from the end of June to the end of July. The first day of Soldes in Paris makes WalMart on a Saturday morning in Selinsgrove look tame. People shove and push and won't move...they are dead serious and will not think twice to hurt you to get that Dior bag you're standing in front of! Granted, most designer things are 50% off (which makes them, uh, still unaffordable...) With the crazy mobs of people in every store, Stacey and I had another serious question to consider - when the heck do people work in Paris? They were all out at the stores ALL day!! Whatever it is they do, I want the same kind of hours! *LOL* (and the first person who makes a "teachers have their summers off" comment will get a punch in the teeth when I return home!) We will go back on Friday to see if things settle down...if not, I may leave Paris without an outfit (GASP!!)
Tomorrow, Pere Lachaise cemetery!! It will be the last organized place I visit before I return home!

3 comments:

bill said...

At least it was a guitar and not an accordian! I love you and thanks for showing restraint!

Bill

Kristin Jacobs said...

Bon soir, ma belle-soeur!

Well, those catacomb pictures weirded me out too. CREEPY! Marie Antoinette's "cottage" was so picturesque -- I'd love to visit it. The purse vs. outfit dilemma is easy: you can't wear the same outfit every day, but you can show off the same beautiful Parisian purse every day! Just make sure it's black, so it goes with everything. Well, at least it does here in SF and LA. I can't believe your trip is almost over. Seems like you just got there! I can't wait to take Sophie to Paris when she gets older. Wouldn't it be fun to take both our families at the same time? The kids could hang out together and you could show us around everywhere. Except the catacombs... trop effrayant! Have a great day tomorrow!

Kristin

Lisa said...

Don't worry about the sales, it's like this in the whole of (West-)Europe! That's why I don't like this periode.. The most annoying part is I always find cloths in new collections for which I still have to pay full price, I just buy them in an overcrowded shop :p I usually don't go shopping during these few weeks, not in the city centre at least.
It's really strange that there used to be a cemetary that isn't there anymore.. I've never heard of the name so I think it disappeared a long time ago.. Maybe during the WWI or WWII, a lot was destroyed then.
It's brillant you took pictures of the room cause I forgot to do that. My family still hasn't asked to see my photos.. I guess they're not interested anymore.
I wrote a mail to the granddad this week and he sent me a powerpoint of Bretagne, it's cool
Enjoy