Skulls, Free rides and a Renault

That’s a lot to describe, but a late start to the day was required to try and shake off some of the hurt.  That first day was a little more adventurous/torturous than expected.  Hangover?  It’s more of a body thing where everything seems to ache a little more than yesterday.

We strolled over to the catacombs.  Stood in line for about an hour and watched the crowd.  We had no energy to keep trucking at that point.  With anticipation building, we forked over the 8euro admission fee…all in small change… and started the climb down the dank and slippery stairwell.  I could actually see the hair begin to stand up on Melanie’s neck, despite the dim light.  We emerge onto the first room and she reaches for my arm to keep me close to her.  The scariest thing here was information on the quarries.  It must be a way of softening you up.

Off we venture.  You can’t really venture anywhere though as there’s only one way to go.  Dark tunnels with a well worn floor.  Occasional dips and holes to watch for…and those gated off dark doorways.  What might be behind those dear Melanie?  Next time we’ll need to watch a zombie flick beforehand.

The sheer volume of bones is impressive.  The attention to detail in stacking and placement, also interesting.  No mortar, just collections of femurs and skulls that seem to match up like a morbid game of Tetris.  Why won’t that bottom row ever disappear?  What is next to fall from that low, drippy ceiling?  Is that water dripping, or something more sinister?  The creepy water is what finally did it and we departed, as soon as we could find a way out.  Not recommended for the weak of heart, and that’s only for the stairs.

We we head out to cleaner, more upbeat pastures.  L’Arc de Triomphe.  A staple in any Parisian visitor’s ‘must-see’ diet.  Big?  Yes.  Impressive?  I say the traffic masses are truly impressive at how they can navigate in and out of that traffic circle with no bumping up against other cars.  Maybe we should head back up there for rush hour and find a tree to climb into for more of a birds eye view.  Since we were there, why not also wander down the Champs Elysees?  Hoards of tourists all clamouring for Louis Vuitton..lining up none the less.  I thought lines at the Bay during the Olympics were long.  And what is with that Abercrombie & Fitch gateway?  How does a gateway smell like bad cologne and how threatening are two skinny guys in plaid at the entrance to the gate?  Are they security or greeters…because I haven’t yet seen a cheery French face that seems like it should be just inside the door of a Walmart.

 We’re tired.  I am cranky and Melanie figures it’s time for a short break.  Why not pop into the  restaurant in the Renault store?  Seems logical to pair high priced food with an original  French automobile manufacturer.  Anyone been to the Chevrolet Cafe in Detroit?  It must be  spectacular.  In summary, it was a tastebud explosion in very small portions.  A thimble of soup  served with a straw (I don’t think a soup spoon could have been jammed in there anyways).  A  single breaded chicken finger.  A single sliver of smoked salmon and some other interesting foamy  tidbits.

 The best part of being on vacation is no plan.  Decide on the fly as to where to eat.  Where to go.  What to do.  Sacre Coeur for a little standing and watching the city lights come up?  Broken  turnstiles offering up free entrance to the metro.  Impromptu decisions on a baguette and some  cheese.  Sitting on some well used steps along the the masses to take in the smog covered city as the sun sets and the crescent moon hangs in the balance.  This is where I defer to Melanie for the pictures and companionship as without her this whole trip would not be so well documented.  She just keeps me around to fix the toilet when it doesn’t flush…I know it.