Our fourth full day of Paris, we certainly were quite busy. I wanted to cross a few things off my to-do list, so I made sure that we woke up early again (sorry, George) to make the most of our day. We wound up buying day passes for zones 1 & 2, which covers mostly the entirety of the city and all of the tourist sites. They do offer a full day Tourist pass which covers zones 1-3, but I think is a rip-off at €10,55 per day. Ours only cost €6,60 each. So ha, in your face! We arrived at the Eiffel Tower first, determined to get to the top. I took one look at the line for the elevator and even at 10:30am, it was atrocious. Thank goodness we did this first, because I don’t think we would have managed otherwise. We each paid our €5 to start climbing to the 2nd level.
We finally made it to the 2nd level, where at that time, you can purchase a supplementary ticket to take the elevator to the top. So that’s what we did. We each paid an additional €6 to take the elevator, and let me tell you, it was worth it.
We hopped back on the metro to get over to the catacombs, where, we had been warned that the line was long and the wait could take up to 2 hours. We got there, and boy, was there a line. I stood and waited there while George braved the Parisian streets in search of lunch. And he came back with some good sandwiches that we ate while we stood in line and talked to some friendly Brits. The wait only lasted about 45 minutes, which wasn’t too bad. We slowly went down, down, down (dun, dun, dunnnnnnn)…into a small museum area explaining a bit of the history of the catacombs. Then the good stuff came. We walked to where they originally had mined and then where they started putting bones from old graveyards.
Definitely not for the faint of heart or light of stomach. There are over 6 million bodies, not bones, but bodies buried in the catacombs, making it the largest in Europe. We wormed our way through, past all the bones and worked our way up the dizzying stairs until we reached daylight and freedom.
Making our way to our next stop via metro, we wanted to check out an old Roman arena, that had been partially destroyed and buried, but has since been resurrected as a pétanque court and soccer play area for kids. It was cool to see that it was originally there, but it seems that it was more of a rec area and less of an area with historical significance. Well, we were not to be deterred and hoped that our fourth and final stop would make the whole day worth it.
Père Lachaise is a burial place full of famous people in the 20eme arrondissement of Paris. The most notable and probably the most widely recognized is Jim Morrison of The Doors fame. The cemetery is absolutely gigantic and with our legs and brains starting to give out,we decided to make just one trip to Jim’s grave. Well, it was a bit of a disappointment, to be frank. It had been barricaded off and it was just some smallish grave with flowers and teddy bears.
…Neither of which we got. George had booked us a table for a nice brasserie called Terminus Nord so I could have my fancy Parisian meal without breaking the bank. I got dressed and ready and. We headed out for some good food including French onion soup, steak-frites, creme brûlée and wine. It was the perfect end to a very long day.