Paris Honeymoon Diary: Day 7 and Day 8

Posted: 25th June 2008 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Life

On our last full day in Paris, our first stop was at the world famous Catacombs. In this former quarry, millions of bones line the walls in a spooky yet enthralling display. This history of the catacombs dates back to the 1700s, when due to disease caused by rotting bodies, the city decided to eliminate cemeteries that were attached to churches and create 3 massive cemeteries. What to do with all the bodies from all the former cemeteries? They were all discreetly moved into the network of  passages of an abandoned quarry that was at the time just outside of the city’s limits.

The visit to the catacombs first starts with climb down some hundred or so stairs, followed by a walk of a couple of kilometers of old passageways. These old passageways were at times so low that I had to duck a little or else my head would scrape against the ceiling. After walking for 15-20 minutes, you finally get to the passageways that display the bones along its walls. I thought that I would be a little freaked out but I wasn’t. It was more intriguing than anything else. I was also surprised that Erin wasn’t too freaked out either. She later told me she just imagined that they were “Hollywood fakes”. I must admit that after walking with stacks of bones on either side for about 10 minutes that they just start to blend into the walls.

We made our way back to ground level where our bags were searched. It appears that some people actually try to steal some bones for whatever reason. We had a nice small conversation with the guard, who showed us a pile of bones and skulls that people had tried to take over the last couple of days. Once out on the street, it took a little while to catch our bearings, as we were a few kilometers from where we first entered the catacombs. After some 20 minutes of walking, we were back where we started, which also happened to be where the Metro stop was.

Our next destination was the Rodin museum. The museum includes many statues and various works of the famous sculptor. Also on display are many casts of his works and some paintings from some of his artist friends such as Van Gogh and Monet.

This was a very interesting museum to visit, to see the various stages that a sculptor takes to create the final product. The museum also contains an impressive garden where two of his most famous works are displayed. The Thinker (Le penseur) shown to the right, and the Gates of Hell, the famous sculpture based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, and where a lot of his other sculptures found their origins. In fact, the Thinker was originally supposed to be part of the Gates of Hell, but Rodin decided to make it into its own statue instead.

The Rodin museum was to be our last sightseeing stop of the trip. With wallet in hand, Erin was eager for our next stop, the Gallerie Lafayette. The Gallerie is a 6 story, 2 building city block wide store that contains everything from restaurants, high fashion designers to children’s toys and souvenirs. For our entire trip Erin was eager to shop at this famous store. We skipped the first floor and headed straight to the second, where Erin looked at clothes and shoes, ranging from designer stuff to things you’d find at Sears and the Bay. We then headed to the 3rd floor where there’s nothing but bras, panties and lingerie. Erin spent the majority of her time there, and I can’t say I minded too much 😛 After making a few purchases, we headed to the children’s floor, where I picked up some Lego for our nieces and a tshirt for our nephew. We then crossed over to the other building where men’s fashions could be found. I looked around but didn’t find anything that I really liked, and the things I did like were far too expensive!

After spending 4 or so hours at the store, we made our last trek back to the hotel. On the way we stopped by a restaurant where I tried tartar (which I found delicious). From the restaurant, we stopped at a little shop where I picked up some bottles of red wine to bring back home as gifts. Once back at the hotel, we packed our bags for the trip back home. Both Erin and I were sad to leave this wonderful city. At the same time, we both didn’t want to leave, but we were also looking forward to being back home, with our friends, families and cats, and get to sleep in our own bed.

Our 8th day in Paris wasn’t much of a day. We checked out of the hotel at 6:30am and made our way to the airport via the Metro and the train. We left a little earlier because of the possible disruptions of the metro system due to the partial strike, but we still managed to get to the airport fairly early. We arrived there at 8:30 with our flight not departing until 11:30. Our flight departed a little late and unlike our flight to Paris, this one was pretty uneventful, save for some major turbulence that hit as we were about to land in Montreal. My parents were there to greet us as we arrived and drove us back home to Ottawa. The ride home consisted of discussing our trip and the many sights and experiences that we had.

So there it is, my final entry in our Paris honeymoon diary. Writing this has allowed me to relive some amazing memories that will stay with me forever. Not only did I really enjoy my trip to Paris, but I got to share that experience with my new wife. Our hope is to go back in a few years and see the many sights that we didn’t get a chance to see this time around.  Paris, you captured our hearts and we shall see you again.

> Photo Gallery Link: Catacombs

> Photo Gallery Link: Rodin Museum

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