Monday, July 26, 2010

It's our last night in Paris and what did we do? We bought wine, beer and cheese and sat on the rooftop terrace and enjoyed the evening while we recalled the horror of being pick pocketed on the Paris Metro. I'll tell you what! Those people are good!!! I had a sloughy bag that I think is hard to zip open and closed and they had it zipped open, hand in for my money purse and zipped up and I never knew it. It happened to my sister, too. But all is well. New cards arrive in Brussels tomorrow and the rest of our posse has money to share. Now I feel like a real Parisian!
These were some 100 bicyclists from Demark who traveled to Paris by bike for the Tour de France.

Did I tell you that the Tour de France ended here in Paris Saturday? While we were walking Champs de Lyeese we could see them setting up for some big event but had no idea until Sunday that it was the end of the Tour de France. We stayed far away from that area on Sunday and chose to do Versailles instead...but more on that tomorrow.

Saturday we started our day at the Catacombs. We wanted to go on Friday afternoon but when we got there and saw the line that went around the corner and down the street we decided to be the first to be in line on Saturday and we were! After a long wait...we got there an hour early because we still hadn't completely figured out the Metro yet...we went down under the streets and sewer systems of Paris to one of the most intriquing things I've ever witnessed. Long story short...when the cemeteries of Paris flooded hundreds of years ago, priests carried the bones of the buried to rest in the underground quarries of Paris. They prayed as the transported the bones and laid the bones to rest in patterns. There are plaques and altars along the route.
Do you remember the items that I showed on the blog yesterday that we took with us everywhere? One of those items was a flashlight that Kristi brought just for the Catacombs. It came in handy the first night in Paris when we were trying to find our flat and it was perfect for the underground walkways. Janet, we thought of you the entire time!

It feels so eery while you're walking through these damp, dark walkways knowing that you're going to see bones but you don't fully grasped it until you actually get there and understand how many people have their final resting place there. It was interesting but also sad that people actually try to steal the remains. We seriously had our bags searched when we left!Isn't that view gorgeous!

We then went to the Montmaure district of Paris which is where Sacre Cour, meaning Sacred Heart Cathedral, is located. Everyone said this was the best place in Paris and it definitely lived up to all the hype. Stunning views of the city and quaint streets. The Cathedral is a brilliant white and there are priests who pray here 24-7 to the Blessed Sacrament since the 1700's.

We mistakenly took the metro that had us walk up the back side of the hill but it worked out perfectly! Not only did we get to see a less touristy part of that area, but we found a junk pile...yes...I know...quit laughing. I did a 3 second scan and quickly snatched up an old book that was left for the trash man. As we walked away I opened it only to see that the name of the book was Prince de Crime! Seriously! It was another funny moment of our trip!

We did some shopping and walked the swanky Rivoli area. We didn't even realize we were walking by the President of France's House until the France version of the CIA were all over the place blocking the streets and crosswalks.

When we watched the guards changing places ...and we consulted our handy dandy Paris map...we realized where we were.
At this point, we were all exhausted and headed home for a short nap. Tine, the young one of the group...we figured out that our average age is 37 because she's with us!...was ready for a young night out in Paris.
Our short nap ended up being a loooonnng nap which is Parisesqe anyway. Nobody eats dinner here until 10pm. We went for a late dinner and the Brasserie owner told us that the club down the street was superb.
We were trying to take pictures secretly so no one knew we were tourists. After 2 mojitos...they ALL knew we were tourists!
He was right! The Baroque was perfect! I think we were the only tourists there because we seemed to be the one's on display. We danced and had the best mojitos ever! They even played disco!!! WOOHOO! to bed on my last night in Paris. More tomorrow from Brussels!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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