May 9. Paris + Les Catacombes
The third day of Nick and I’s honeymooning excursion, was extra memorable for me. The day happened to be my 29th birthday, which I very truly was having a hard time remembering considering all of the other much more memorable events taking place. I mean, I’ve celebrated at least 28 of mine own birthdays already, in comparison to our many once in a lifetime moments leading up to May 9th, 2014—kinda not that big of a deal, right?
In my own fashion I picked out some extremely unique points of interest for the day.
Our first order of business was a metro ride over to the 14th Arr. to check out Les Catacombes. I have to do a little side bar here about the Paris Metro. While, I personally do not particularly enjoy the experience of riding a subway system, the Paris version is probably the best I’ve experienced. The stations and stops are each their own unique little world. But most importantly, the stations are EXTREMELY efficient. Paris is a very large city, and having the ability to check out so many parts of it in such a short time is a wonderful asset. At this point, I also must give mad props to my new husband, for his metro savvy made our trip so smooth and effortless.
I remember distinctly the first time I learned about the Catacombs. I can’t remember how old I was, but I know I was lying on my mom’s couch in IN, watching a History Channel special on “The Most Haunted Places in the World” after everyone else had gone to sleep. There is always something a little surreal about moments in your life when your knowledge takes the leap from informational to experiencial. Our trip to Paris was full of moments like that, but none impacted me in the way the Catacombes did.
The Catacombes are a series of underground mines, below the city. In late 1700’s the cemeteries within the city limits were filling beyond capacity and creating less than desirable conditions in Paris. A decree was made that all of the cemeteries would be condemned. Beginning with the most central cemetery, Les Innocents, the skeletal remains would be dug up and moved to the underground mines. At first, the remains were simply being dumped into the mines, but as the need for more and more space grew, the city began organizing and stacking to bones in artistic ways, and incorporating elements like tombstones from the original graveyards.
The tunnels run over 100 miles and approximately 6 million people are laid to rest in the underground cemetery. The portion you walk through and tour is nearly 1.6 miles and was opened to the public to tour in 1874.
After our incredibly humbling and awe inspiring meeting with the span of history and the brevity of a human life, we took the metro to the 6th Arr. to Le Rue Des Martyrs to grab a lunch and take a look at one of he oldest streets in Paris. Afterwards, we stopped in Deyrolle, an amazingly interesting taxidermy shop. I snapped a few photos before I noticed the sign asking me not too, but that’s okay because the INSIDE of the store is actually on google earth. You can check it out here.
We stopped by SADAHURU AOKI for some Japanese-inspired macarons, thanks to the recommendation from Trotter Mag, and the Trotter Mag recommendation from my bestie and photographer friend, Chelsea Clayton. The flavors included wasabi and sesame. Pretty perfect, amiright?
We ambled around La Jardin du Luxembourg, which was quite beautiful before heading back to our Air BnB to get ready for dinner.
We had made reservations, thanks to our hosts’ recommendation on thefork.com for a restaurant called Thaïsil, which was so quaint and the food was delicious. And I have to say I was the most surprised when the wait staff and owners all came out of the kitchen singing “Happy Birthday.” Aw, that’s cute it’s someone’s birthday… why are they singing in English? WAIT A SECOND… IS THIS FOR ME?” Totally and completely surprised, it was so precious.
Until the next one,