Who would have known you can actually roast chestnuts over an open fire?!…these little stands started opening up EVERYWHERE all over Paris the moment the weather got even remotely chilly. Thanks to these middle-easterns selling their chestnuts in a little rolled up magazine page, all of a sudden you can smell the holidays in the air in Paris 🙂
p.s.-I tried them and LOVED them! bien sur…
"stop! this is the Empire of the Dead"
going deeper and deeper underground
a plethora of tibias
photos of the bodies when they transferred them...quite graphic
two words: heebie-jeebies.
really shows off the organization...pretty amazing
ummm...do we smile?
In the wonderful city of Paris the month of October is enchanting. The chesnuts are all falling off the trees, the sun is bright, the air is crisp and the leaves are the most spectacular colors I have ever seen. But, unfortunately when October 31st rolls around there is no Halloween! You can consider yourself very lucky if you get to see even one window display with pumpkins or fake cob-webs. Donc, what does one do around halloweeny time in Paris?
Our solution, naturally, was to visit the famous Catacombs of Paris. It’s on my bucket list and there was no better time to go. I really enjoyed the entire experience. It was incredibly cold and wet down there, an ideal place for catching a cold but there was also a quite lovely eerie/sacred feel to the entire “empire.”
What I expected was piles of bones and skulls. What I did not expect was for them to be arranged and organized so beautifully, making them art. It was grotesque to think it was someones’ job to transfer these bodies from their gravesite to the catacombs and it was also phenomenal to think it had been someones’ duty to arrange these millions of bones into a pattern and an art.
After we left, we were all in a bizarre mood and incredibly cold so like the local parisians that we are becoming…we went to a near by cafe and ordered some expressos and cafe au lait!
Instead of saying “my foot is asleep,” in French you say “there are ants in my feet!”
I found this interesting/humorous 🙂
the cemetery itself is just beyond massive...this is just one tiny section, but it shows how packed and close the graves are to one another
The most amazing thing happened...we met this man named Colin who offered to give us a quick free tour and show us to the graves we wanted to see. He turned out to have been studying the cemetery for over 15 years as a hobby...he does something in the insurance business and obviously got bored with that. The man was an absolute expert on the entire place and EVERY soul buried there. We literally were chasing him through out the grave yard for 2 hours while he fed us some of his infinite amount of knowledge about Pere Lachaise...the whole experience was just unbelievable and so magical, we were so lucky.
A tree to the side of Jim's grave....completely covered with people's thoughts and comments for Jim.
Many of the graves had these ancient rusted chains around them so we asked Colin what their purpose was and he told us that they used to have bells attached to them so that if anyone was buried alive they could ring them and the caretaker would come rushing to the tomb to resurface them! Eventually, this became a symbol for zombies...ever seen them in the movies walking around with the chains dangling all over their bodies??...This is truly just one of the MILLIONS of interesting facts Colin shared with us
Oscar Wilde's tomb...the tradition is to kiss it with red lipstick. There is a plaque beneath it saying not to deface it, but everyone knows Oscar would haved loved it. So romantic. So Oscar! (oh, and of course we all kissed it...naturally.)
One thing I loved the most was the effigies on top of a lot of tombs...it's such a beautiful tradition, sometimes I wish people still did it today.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Paris and one of my personal favorites. I never knew a cemetery could be so beautiful…thanks for the suggestion Kristen! 🙂 One of the most memorable days of my year in Paris, for sure.
Sometimes the most beautiful things are discovered by accident…only in the most romantic city in the world would you stumble upon a bridge like this