Day 272: A slight chance of rain 7/2/2016

Wally

Catacombs pt I

Man… I’ve been excited to see the catacombs since we’ve gotten here. There’s just something so dark and mysterious about it that really drew me to it. We arrived an hour after the doors had opened and the line had wrapped around the small park near the entrance. I asked people towards the front of the line just how long they had been waiting and they mentioned that they’d been there for over 2 hours…

Not wanting to waste our day just standing around we decided we’d come back later in the day.

Sourbone

It’s just a nice university whose campus wasn’t too far away. Syd really wanted to get a sweater there. Clint and I really didn’t mind and were just excited for the possibility of seeing the campus itself. Just one problem… the whole campus was closed…. We ended up just appreciating the architecture of the school itself and picked up a sweater at a gift shop down the street.

Comic Book Shop

On the way to Notre Dame we saw a comic book shop and we just had to stop and look. And by we I mean me. It’s been awhile since I’ve smelled the interior of a comic book shop and man have I missed it… We looked around at the comics, toys and collectibles. There was something for everyone there. Syd found a Harry Potter book “The Artifact Vault” and Clint was looking for a very specific Tintin comic that was set in Le Mans. I on the other hand wanted to get EVERYTHING in the store, so we finally had to leave in order to ensure that I didn’t pass out from sensory overload.

Notre Dame

I can now say I’ve seen the one in Vietnam and in France. I must say that the one in France is pretty fucking awesome! Nothing beats the original. The attention to detail and the sheer size of it all was awe inspiring. I’m personally not all that religious myself, but just looking at this building kind of stirs something inside you.

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Bastille

The storming of the Bastille marked an important historical event during the French Revolution. From everything I’ve studied and read is that it occurred on top of a hill and wave after wave of people were sent to break through. Well when we got to the area we couldn’t find the damn thing. We kept looking at our maps and just couldn’t find the damn thing. How do you overlook an old medieval prison?!?! Well turns out the Bastille has long been torn down and what’s left is a massive roundabout.

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Catacombs pt II

I was really glad we made our way back to the Catacombs, it’s way up there on my list of things to see and do. We waited about an hour and a half and made our way down. The stairs spiraled downward and each step you took you felt the temperature drop more and more. When we finally got into the entrance of the catacombs we saw a sign that said something along the lines of welcome to the tunnel of death. Don’t quote me on that. It’s really effing crazy to see ALL the skulls and bones that line the walkway throughout the tunnel. Each one was strategically stacked and placed there and each one was once a human being just like you or I. The person who originally started stacking them up did fun patterns and designs along the walk. There was one area where the skulls were arranged to look like a heart and another to look like a cross. It really is something you have to see for yourself.

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Dinner

Italian food. The owners there are full blooded Italians living and working in Paris. The meal was awesome and at the end we were given a lemon liqueur and whoooo weee! That’s a refreshing way to end dinner.

Sidenote

The sun sets SUPER late here. It’s really effing up our sense of time. When we feel like it’s close to 5 or 6 it’s actually 9 to 10!

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Syd 

Damn today was a good day. We had some coffee and relaxed with breakfast. Today we were going to do Versailles but decided to move it to another day. We started the day by going to the catacombs, Wally was so excited! It is so cute. We got out of the metro and it was a line wrapped around the entrance and Wally asked some people how long they have been waiting, over 2 hours yet the thing opened an hour ago!! WTF?! Ok we decided to bounce and head to the Sorbonne. Along the way we got some snacks and espresso at a little corner shop. I love these little stores they are so cute and quaint. We also came across a farmers market and we all picked up some gifts. I wanted to get a sweatshirt and see the campus. We walked along and ended up seeing a comic book shop. Wally was in heaven and about to pass out. I am only saying that half-jokingly; he really was about to pass out from excitement. I found a little gift shop and got my sweatshirt so I was happy.

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We continued our walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was just as beautiful as the first time I saw it. We did not want to go in but we walked around and took some pictures. We finally found a café and got a cappuccino and a crepe. It started to rain but we all just sat and talked for a while. We had been walking for so long that we needed a break.

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Side note – I forgot to talk about this in Thailand, we had shark and it was only $4 USD. Shark back home would cost an arm and a leg and we got it for $4. It was not bad and actually tasted pretty good.

Yesterday I was almost shit on twice by 2 birds. I was only one step ahead of the first one and one step behind the second one. I was so lucky!!! I would have been so pissed if I got shit on.

After the café we walked around and found the King Louis bust we have been looking for. I am so glad we found it and now my collection is complete. We walked towards the Bastille and found out that today is the gay pride parade in Paris. The walk is from the Louvre to the Bastille. It was cool to see the parade route and see how all the buildings were decorated. Man, Paris is popping in the month of July. Once we got to the Bastille we figured out that the pillar is what represents the castle and read a little more on it. It was cool to see.

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Once we finished we decided to try our luck at the catacombs again. Luckily this time the line was much shorter and we waited to get in. I love seeing Wally so happy. It rained a little and dad got us coffees. The line only took about an hour and a half. Once we got down there is was even colder and we had to walk a crazy staircase to go underground. The catacombs were really cool. A little scary but interesting to see how they did everything. The walk is pretty far and all you can think about is that these were real people. WTF?! We made our way up and into a little souvenir shop. Wally got a shirt and I got a book. We found out that we were half a mile from the entrance and where we started but it sure did not feel like that when we were walking through the tunnels.

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We were going to head to Jim Morrison’s grave but the cemetery was closed so we will do it on Monday. We got on the metro and headed back up to the apartment. We got some groceries then headed to dinner. We found a cute little Italian restaurant and ate our lives away. Wally and I split a little pizza and tortellini. I LOVE TORTELLINI!!! This is the first time in 8 months I have had it!! I miss it so much. Dad got some red wine and as much as I want to like red wine, I cannot get into it. I always try but I just like everything else but red. After dinner we had some limoncello and some ice cream! SO GOOD!!! Today has been fantastic! The weather was beautiful, great conversations, and so much food.  Time for bed, as I am typing the blog my eyes are closing. Goodnight!!

I forgot to take a pic of the food but here is a pic of the ice cream we got for dessert.

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Dad

Well, Wally went for coffee this morning & returned w/same amount as I did the day before. Ha! Least we know that locals don’t discriminate against tourists. Moving on. Headed out on our latest journey, the Catacombs. Again we found a long line & just kept moving. On our way we found a street vendor market. Found a few things & also got some vittles to tide us over. Baguettes w/Jamon & Frommage (ham & cheese for you uneducated folk). Made our way to Sorbonne U.  Really cool old school buildings. Closed but did find a cool comic book store. Wally’s really “excited” about these things! Crossed river to Right Bank to check off Notre Dame. Impressive structure & architecture. God loving people like a good sanctuary. Settled in to a nearby bistro for crepes & liquid fortification. Delish! Paris LBGT was in progress so some roads were blocked. It did allow us to follow along & see different roads that we may not have taken otherwise. As we were storming the Bastille, realized that it is no longer there. Oops, just an obelisk w/the names of the dead from the revolution. It was the end point of LBGT parade, music, colorful outfits & heavily armed men/women of the Paris/State Police. Got big guns! Made call to return to Catacombs & hope line was shorter. It was. 62 feet down a spiral staircase to get to tunnels that are less than 6’ tall. Head hurts, you do the math, I’m 6’3”. Needed Ashley to remind me to duck, often (USS Midway & Iowa). Rather odd visual when looking @ tens of thousands of bones & thousands of skulls looking back @ you. Lot of work to make this happen & macabre sense of honor. But definitely worth a visit. Made our way back to the apt & dinner. Had a hankering for some Italian food, not pizza. Got to have my bucket list moment, sitting on a sidewalk café in Paris as the evening crowd strolled by. Luckily I was w/my favorite first born & son in law. All in all, a great memorable day.

May have fallen asleep watching that silly show, Rick & Morty.

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