After getting some much needed sleep after a long night, I started the day’s festivities later than I would have liked. Since the broffair had to continue with my last day in Paris, Will and I went to the Catacombs to the see the empire of the dead. Upon finding the entrance after leaving the metro station, we walked towards the back of the line and back we went, further than I would have ever expected. Knowing that we could not pass up seeing centuries worth of skeletons buried under the city of Paris within its former quarry, we tried to wait patiently while chatting about our future travel plans when we would sadly and inevitably go our separate ways. The idea of even meeting up in Germany sounded like a possibility but I couldn’t commit to being in any one place on a certain day. To our luck, a steady rain lingered above us, which chilled once sunny Paris down quite a bit, but more so got me even antsier to dance with the dead. Since we would have to wait for over an hour, I figured why not work on the blog that has turned into a daily passion of mine. Trying to blog while holding a tablet and juggling an umbrella at the same time is as difficult as it sounds but I managed. Once the time finally arrived, we headed down the tight winding stone staircase, leaving all light and sense of warmth behind; we were entering through death’s door and good God was it cold, only magnified by my relatively soaked shirt and pants. My first mistake during the wait in line was not having a long sleeve shirt to wear with the second being my umbrella turning out to be the cheapest thing known to man (gotta love cheap Chinese-grade quality products; every couple minutes the umbrella collapsed on itself, providing me a bone-chilling shower down my back side. Anyways, back to the good times among the dead. The tunnels winding through the area were a claustrophobic’s nightmare as darkness is the master of this tightly spaced underworld. Every hallway had bones and skulls stacked neatly to form continuous walls; it was turned into a piece of artwork with some skulls formed into the shape of a heart. After seeing and touching enough human bones to last a lifetime, we walked up and out of the tunnels finally bone-dry. Since nothing gives you the munchies like seeing a bunch of skulls, we made our way to a local bakery and bread shop called Paul’s. At long last, I had my first macaroon which was extremely decadent, almost to a fault, but still delicious. Mine was pistachio and if you’ve never tried one it is basically too tiny cakes sandwiched together with a butter cream squeezed in between. A little fougasse bread, which had some surprise ham mixed into the dough, was also a nice treat to take the edge off the sugar craze. From there, we went our separate ways until later as I still wanted to take advantage of my museum pass and see the rest of Musee D’Orsay while poor Will caught some rest (some people, rather most people, can’t keep up with my pace; heck, I don’t even know how I do it). I don’t know what it is about a painting that makes it so powerful to look at but the best ones stand out for a reason; they capture that moment in time so precisely that it makes you feel a part of the art. I am all about symbolism and trying to discover the meaning of life (if you’ve figured it out, let me know…cause you probably should check yourself into the nut house because it is the holy grail and fountain of youth all rolled into one). Going along those same lines, some paintings or other works of art have left me feeling different and more appreciative of the world around me. To end my last night in Paris, Will and I met up to see the Basilica Sacre-Coeur, which is an average church on the inside but is gorgeous from the outside. This church sits on top of a hill and rises up from a long stretch of steps leading to it. So when looking at it from below, the church appears to be floating amongst the clouds. After dodging and shoving past some stubborn Africans who were trying to scam us and apparently were saying I walk like a cow (whatever that means), we climbed to the top. The view from the church revealed the whole city in all its glory with the exception of the Eiffel Tower. Although it couldn’t compete with the view from the Eiffel Tower, any view of the Paris skyline is worth taking at least a few minutes to soak in. Leaving the area around the basilica, we went to check off the last item on my to do list as far as food goes by having French onion soup, which had slices of baguette submerged within its savory broth soaking up all those amazing flavorful juices and also came layered with you guessed it, cheese. The Moulin Rouge, the famous cabaret show, was the final stop for the day. Knee deep in Paris’s version of sin city sits Moulin Rouge, which is known for its cabaret shows and fits quite nicely in its neighborhood of numerous sex shops and a few strip clubs to boot, make that a couple dozen. After leaving the strip (the main street, not club), I felt 10 times more dirty than when I entered. Since I had a flight scheduled for early tomorrow morning to Berlin, Will and I said our goodbyes, hoping to run across each other someday. Once back at my hostel, I packed up all my belongings and geared up so that I would be ready to leave before the crack of dawn. Before calling it a night, I researched the future cities I would be traveling to in the hostel lobby on my iPad while sipping a cool beer and just passing the time. A guy that sat next me was on his own device when he accidentally knocked over my beer onto the iPad. Luckily, no damage was done but he felt so bad he ended up sharing some of his chips and a beer as well. I chuckle thinking back over his innocent kindness. With weary legs and half-closed eyes but a burning heart charging onward, I look forward to telling you about where the next step of my journey takes me.
Day 9: Au Revoir Paris, You Will Miss Me!