Thursday, November 24, 2011

A (mostly) pleasant skull. I meant stroll!

I had a new group today.  The one thing I wanted to do was to get to the Orangerie, after that I was good with whatever (because there were few enough groups going to the Orangerie (just the one, really) that being picky was impossible).  So.  The Orangerie.  Their main draw, and it's a great draw, is that they have two rooms of panorama view 360 ovular degrees of huge 10x60' or something like that canvases of Monet's water lilies.  They're amazing and wonderful and...just wow.  Basically.  When you get close, the lines dissolve into a swimming swirl of pastel paint.  Downstairs from this was a gallery of painters from around the same time--impressionists, Spanish painters, and many others.  And there were a few ladies in there set up with easels, painting the paintings.  I was somewhat jealous...painting Renoir with the original Renoir in front of you?  Awesome.

After that, we went up the Arc d'Triumphe again, which is the hazard of group-hopping.  We had a few girls craning over the side to see the traffic at the bottom--somewhere around 8 lanes and no directional signals, except that traffic could only progress in one direction.  Throw in buses, construction trucks, bikes, and a few pedestrians, and it gets hectic.  And yet no one got hit, that we saw anyway.

After that, Allison wanted to go down one of the streets which is famous for its shopping--I forgot its name--which was one of her goals of being in Paris, but no one else wanted to go, so she and I went down and told them we'd meet them at the catacombs.  Which led to us waiting for them for 45 minutes in front of the catacombs because they went to lunch in the meanwhile.  Anyway, the catacombs.  Yeah, that's where the title of this post comes from.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but there was a long long way of just wandering around some underground passages until we suddenly came across the "door of the dead" and all I could think of was LOTR and I wondered if there was a rock in there where we could call armies of the dead or something...But then we went through the door and, um, let's just say that I don't get freaked out often but rows and rows of bones, just piled in heaps with the outward part stacked into patterns of leg bones and skulls, skulls everywhere staring out with those dead eyes and arranged in crosses and hearts and there was no end to them and...*shudder*

After that we just wandered for a bit.  We sat by the Seine for a little while reading "Where's Charlie?" which is "Where's Wally?" in England.  Or Waldo in the states.  After that, we walked back to the hotel--Allison and I stopped for ice cream (and then the rest of the group left, again) and we boarded the train back to London.  I was in the same not-a-window-seat but I was awake for more of the trip home, so I got to see the chunnel--it was really dark.

Thus ends my Parisian adventure.

Sorry it's on its side.  But seriously.  CREEPY.


  1. When you looked down from the Arc d'Triumphe could you imagine pedestrians crossing the traffic to get to the Arc rather than using the tunnel which is now available. When I was first in Paris (1956)you had to walk through the traffic in the circle to get to the Arc. A thrilling experience, I can assure you.
    Bro. Washington

  2. Actually, we did see a few pedestrians cross. That was a moment of tension, I assure you. It was like watching Frogger but being pretty sure that said frog is going to end up squashed, and gasping with relief and disbelief when he actually *makes* it.