Sunday, May 16:  The Creepy Catacombs

Today I slowly crawled out of bed, tired. Slouching into the kitchen, I ate breakfast. I had the usual, except my dad went to the bakery and got good bread, which was very nice. Afterwards, I was awake, and ready to see the d’Orsay. I grabbed my backpack, and walked out to the elevator. We all rode down and into the street, where we started walking. The d’Orsay Gallery is famous for impressionist and post-impressionist art. It was in walking distance, near the Louvre, and soon we got there. I was happy to see that there was a very small line, so soon we were through the metal detectors, and in. The museum used to be a train station, so the huge room used to be where the tracks were. Now it was full of sculptures and stuff, and not Van Gogh or Monet just yet. We went fast through these few rooms and then up five floors, to the main stuff. There was a huge row of linked rooms, with famous paintings, like Van Gogh’s room, a portrait of himself, and the painting by Monet showing the three girls picking up straw. These were all famous, and didn’t look real when I saw them. My favorite was the bedroom, because it was so colorful. Then we met up with Dad and Robert, and they said that they were going to look for some paintings of animals. Mom and I wanted to see more normal paintings, so we continued on.

This section was post-impressionism, and some were pretty weird. I liked the ones that were made up of only dots, and there were a lot more artists that did it than I thought! My favorite of these was one of a beach, with blue skies. We reached the end, so we went down the stairs and into the huge room the looked like a train station. We rested, and then walked home. Back at the apartment, Robert and Dad got back, and said they found a great place for lunch. We followed them back in the direction of the d’Orsay, but stopped before reaching it. The cafe’ was cool because it had a bar on the main floor, down a little for seating, or up for a balcony overlooking the bar. We went up, and looked at the menu. I chose a ham and cheese crepe, and some lemon syrup water. It came very quickly, and it looked delicious. I tried it, and it was. Then came the water, which was very sugary and tasted like gold. After everyone was finished, we thanked the waiter and left. Now we were going to our next stop of today, the catacombs! The catacombs were an underground tunnel a mile long that had human bones! They were carried here for a decade out of cemeteries to make room on that piece of land, and they were piled here. Now you could go in, so we took two metros to the area where it was. To go in, you walk into a small office, where you buy tickets, so we did. They directed us to an old spiral staircase. We walked down, and Down, and DOWN, until we finally reached bottom, in a little lobby.

We looked at some pictures, and then walked down the hallway. We didn’t see anything, so we kept walking, until finally we came to a brighter room, with a big marble gate that said MORT. I knew that means “death”, so I raced in to see it. There it was! Hundreds of skulls and bones, piled up! It was pretty creepy, yet still really cool. I walked down the passageway, looking at all of the bones. There were so many! My mom read in her book that 6 million people were there! WOW! You have to see it to believe it, I guess. Then we walked on, and through another gate, which was the end. We walked down another long hallway, up more stairs, and out into another office. We told the man we had a great time, and walked outside. We were somewhere else, so we looked for the metro to go home. We then found it, and got on to “Rue du Bac”, our street. In comparison, we didn’t do as much as other days here, but everybody was tired, so we lied around in the apartment for 3 hours. Tonight for dinner, we were going to go to another relative’s house for dinner and his name is Jean-Robert, and owns an apartment in Paris. We waited outside for him to come, and eventually he did. Everyone introduced themselves, and then we climbed in the car. He lived near the Arc de Triomphe, so my parents chatted while he drove. He spoke English well, and was very nice and enjoyable.

Near his apartment, he waved his card over the sensor and parked. He showed us out, and we followed him to the building. We walked up the stairs to the top floor, and into the apartment, where we were greeted by two dogs! One was a big white lab, and the other a medium sized one with white hair. The big one was nicer, so I pet him for a bit, and then met his wife, Francois. She was very cheerful and energetic. They showed us into the sitting room, and offered us a drink. For Robert and I, she gave us Coke in a champagne glass! We drank and pet the dogs while my parents chatted. Then the door rang, and two more people came in. They were distant relatives too, and were invited. They sat down, and we chatted more. Then the door rang for a third time, and Francois’ daughter and her son-in-law. They also brought another dog! It was a Jack Russell Terrier, and was named Ophie. She was a small dog, and I was amazed to hear by Sophie (the daughter) that Ophie hunted wild boar, and caught it! Sophie was very kind too, like her mom, and her husband was too. After some MORE chatting, we were invited to dinner at the table.

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Photo 275  The Eiffel Tower!
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Photo 276  The Arc de Triomphe
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Photo 277  Skulls and Bones in the Catacombs
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Photo 278  Saint Chapele, Tons of Stained Glass
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Photo 279  A Wing of Versailles
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Photo 280  The Mona Lisa
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Photo 281  Um..... McDonalds?
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Photo 282  An Inverted Triangle

I looked at the names on the plates, and sat at the one with mine. First came the salad, which was leaves with a tuna mix on top. It was a great salad, and usually I don’t like salad. After our places were cleared, there was the main course, boar. The rice on the side was good, but the boar was pretty weird, and they said we didn’t have to eat it. I didn’t, but thanked them. My dad said we could go, and come back for desert, so we played on the computer. We had fun, but then it was time for desert. It was a fancy desert, which Sophie made, and was like a roll with chocolate and herbs and spices all in one. It was different, and very delicious. On the side was pure, real, caramel, which was also very great. Then, when everybody finished, we migrated to the couches and talked. I was tired, and ready to fall asleep, but managed to stay awake as we thanked everybody, got in the car, and drove home, tired. In the apartment, we had to be extra quiet, because Thierry and Marie-France were staying because they just got back from Prague.