beautyfoodnerdrunningshoptravel

April 12, 2016

easter trip to paris - part 2


i know i said "next week" when i first posted but i had some personal requests to update on mallory...she's kind of a big deal.

on to day 2 in paris, also know as: the day i spent with dead stuff.

there are 2 places in paris i've wanted to go for a while but was never able to do to either time or co-travelers not being interested. this trip it was all about me! 

i got up very early on easter sunday, 7:30am is early when you're on vacation ok, and took the train down to the catacombs. i tried to go on saturday but the line was massive and i wouldn't have made the cutoff time. when i arrived at 8:30am for a 10am open, i was the 10th person in line. by the time it opened, there as already a 2 hour wait. that's right, people line up to see a bunch of bones just like they do to purchase a new iphone.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france catacombs
am i actually gonna do this?



traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france catacombs
yes, yes i am

the catacombs lie beneath the city of paris and stretch for miles. i took the self guided tour of the legal portion. there are "hidden" entrances you can explore where small raves are thrown, walls are painted, the photos online are pretty amazing. but that wasn't an exploration i wanted to make on my own. maybe next trip.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france catacombs
literally lined with bones

the catacombes were constructed in a series of underground limestone mines. in the 1760's burials were banned, the cemetaries were over crowded. this lead to graves being dug shallow and in residential spots, not ideal. a plan was finally made to remove the 6 million+ remains and line the mines with them. the area was blessed and the bones entombed. it is really quite stunning, once you get over the fact that you are surrounded by actual former living beings.


traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france catacombs


after the tour, which took about an hour on my own, i made my way to the louvre for an exhibit i'd seen online: the foundations of myth, hercules to darth vader. vader at the louvre, there was no way i was missing that. it was aimed to be accessable to children so not terribly long but very interesting. it included a tablet that is the oldest written record of a creation story, uncovered in iraq.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france louvre japan
tanuki

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france louvre japan
rama, sita, the demon sa'wa rat and the deer: leather shadow puppets from thailand

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france louvre japan star wars
french star wars poster

it's interesting to see different forms of storytelling. the shadow puppets are incredible to see, there wasn't a show here but i've seen them before.

after the louvre i booked it back to monmartre for a quick bite before my easter service plans.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france louvre japan
banana and rum crepe for lunch

le passe muraille, monmatrtre - easter trip to paris - part 2 wanderlust
le passe-muraille

as i've done the typical paris stuff before i've been to sacre coeur. it's beautiful. i climbed it back in my teens and it was exhausting but the best view i've ever seen. being a functioning church, they were having easter services. i decided to attend the sung vespers. it was beautiful, the nuns and priests singing, the organ, all of it. the only set back was one of the ushers letting out a loud "shhhh" to the visitors whispering. he was more annoying than the whispers, i could only take it for 20 minutes.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france monmartre sacre coure
beautiful day

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france monmartre sacre coure
the stairs, so many stairs

after leaving the service i made one more train ride to the last place on the "i keep missing it" list, pere lachaise cemetery. this place is beautiful, and not just the famous tombs found with in. it's hard to describe so i'll just let the photos do that for me.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france cemetary grave stained glass
that stained glass

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france cemetary grave oscar wilde
oscar wilde

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france cemetary grave jim morrison the doors
jim morrison

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france cemetary film georges milies
georges melies

georges melies was an incredible filmmaker from paris. the smashing pumpkins recreated his trip to the moon in their music video for "tonight, tonight" and the book/movie hugo is loosely based on his later years. if you haven't seen trip to the moon, stop what you're doing and do it now. sadly now it is mostly seen by film studies majors like i was. it's incredible, and not just because it was made in 1902 without our current technology. this was a pretty big deal for me.

and that's day 2. i managed to fit a lot in to 2 days. monday i had a mid day flight but i managed to squeeze in breakfast at angelina's: yes, the hot chocolate is basically hot pudding and sinful.

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france angelina cafe hot chocolate pastry
sooo good

traveling solo female woman wanderlust europe backpack paris france metro train station
my favorite train station

a little side note about gare du nord station. there is currently quite a bit of construction going on at gare du nord and trying to find the lockers to stash my duffle on monday was quite a test of my patience. i asked no fewer than 4 "information desk" agents and got different directions from each. when i managed to find the location, it turned out that they had each told me the general area to go to, but due to the construction, all the directional signs i was looking for had been covered or removed. so here's sign free directions for you:

go up the the main level, as if you were exiting to the streets of paris, the tjv trains will be on the right, go all the way to the end, as if you were going to exit the building. there are elevators on the right, go down to level -1, walk around the massive yellow walls and the security check is there. your bag needs to go thru an xray like at the airport, naturally. i was able to use the smallest locker for my duffle.

until next time...