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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Paris, 22 June 2010: Catacombs & Eiffel Tower [20100627|17:12]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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By mutual agreement, we left the hostel early on Tuesday morning to queue for access to the catacombs. For those who don't know, this underground ossuary was created in the 18th century from abandoned stone quarries to cope with the problem of Paris' overcrowded cemeteries. The artistic stacking of the bones presumably arose from the same impetus as the model carvings of the City Above by the miners: the repetitive boredom of the task at hand.

A limited number of people are allowed in the catacombs at any given time, so the wait in the queue in the morning starts at about 45 minutes and goes into the hours by afternoon. It is, however, completely worth it. After descending through over half a kilometre of access tunnels, the ossuary begins.

Entrance tunnels to the catacombs (featuring an Eric)

Bored miners make art

More art by bored miners

Subterranean well

The skulls begin

The skulls continue

They go on

Poetical message, like

Bone barrel

So many bones

Dome formed by subsidence

We emerged, blinking, into the bright Paris summer and sought sustenance. We ate lunch in the tiny park near the ossuary entrance and watched some shirtless drunks swagger about making speeches that I'm not sure were comprehensible even if one did speak French. Once our strength was restored, we went to the Eiffel Tower. The Erics went to climb the stairs while becala and I went to lie in the grass at its feet and chat.

The Eiffel Tower from directly beneath

Classic tourist picture, except..

...for the Segway tour!

Antics in the grass (becala and Erics)

More antics

Tuckered out by antics, we finished our day with wine and sushi and more wine, with cheese. I rolled off to bed at midnight, my inner goth fully satisfied.

[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-06-27 17:37 (UTC)
How fun! And LOL at the Segway tours!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-29 13:03 (UTC)
I confess, I kind of want to go on one. They look silly, but I bet you can cover quite a lot of the city in a day without getting too tired.
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2010-06-27 18:59 (UTC)
Cool photos. I like the first one of the Eiffel Tower, when I was there it was too dark (in the evening) to see a view like that. We couldn't walk the stairs, they were closed, but the lifts were quite an experience.

I tried machine translation on that inscription, but it failed horribly! The best translation I found from Google was "Where is Death? Ever in the future or the past. Once here, already gone." which sounds appropriate. My schoolboy French wouldn't have a chance dealing with that!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-29 13:05 (UTC)
I was surprised that more people weren't trying to take that shot of the Tower, as they attempt to photograph is from just about every other angle.

I would guess that that's a reasonably good translation. Certainly it's better than the one Babelfish gave me!
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[User Picture]From: sneakypeteiii
2010-06-28 02:19 (UTC)
Oh, Denfert-Rochereau, how I miss you and the 14eme. Did you go to the Montparnasse cemetery, too? Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir are buried there (next to each other, I think).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-29 13:06 (UTC)
Yes, I went to Montparnasse. I'm rubbish at finding graves, though. I vaguely looked for Sartre, but because I get distracted by statuary, I wasn't focused enough to find him.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-29 13:09 (UTC)
All you need is a braid and a lasso now.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2010-06-28 18:43 (UTC)
Wow. So many...bones. And I love the up-skirt Eiffel shot :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-29 13:10 (UTC)
up-skirt Eiffel shot

Very funny. Now come over here and clean my monitor. It doesn't like tea.
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From: pbristow
2010-06-29 20:12 (UTC)
"Tuckered out by antics"

That sounds so much more delicate than "shagged out". I approve. Henceforth, whenever I feel shagged out, I shall declare myself "tuckered out by antics". [NODS]
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-30 15:20 (UTC)
It's perhaps more cumbersome, however.
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