Old, dead and remembered.
Trip Start Jun 20, 2012
82Trip End Aug 05, 2012
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Dead. I arrived at the entrance to the Catacombs at about twenty past nine and found myself surprisingly close to the front. Maybe 60 - 100 people in front of me. A little disappointed that it was so much easier than I'd been warned, I sat on the path in the line to await the 10AM opening time. By 10 the line was snaking as far down the street as I could see and had started coming back around a park to turn down another street
From here you step through an archway which informs you you're entering the empire of the dead. The walls of this section, which include a long stretch of passages, corridors and small halls are made up of stacked bones transferred in 1786-8 from over 40 graveyards across Paris and consisting of over 60 million skeletons.
The ceiling and walls drip in certain areas, leaving puddles in the stone and sand floor and with the darkness, the presence of death and the silent and chilling air the atmosphere certainly leaves a lot of room for superstition and fear to bloom out of control
Remembered. Monet's gardens and gallery in Giverny are set in a beautiful town an hour out of Paris along the Seine river and a short walk from Vernon. I left Paris with a hot and sunny day of 28 with a possible chance of thunderstorms come nightfall (9PM+ according to the weather report) and yet arrived in Vernon to heavy rain, lightning and the sky cracking impressively. I still walked rather than take the bus and I had fun scaling an old, moss covered wall to walk around a dilapidated building over the river; soaking my shoes to stand by the water's edge with a pair of graceful swans and some playful ducks; exploring an 18th century tower and taking shelter under willow trees and christmas ferns. I definitely must return here to soak it in properly, but I at least got a sense of the majesty and charm of the area.