Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the month “June, 2018”

Paris Part VI: Les Catacombs and Leaving

I am not sure which day this picture was taken. The name made me laugh. Extra Greek. I am guessing it was probably amazing, as it was always full. We ate dinner one night at the place next door, L’Atlas. It was tasty.

This was a Chinese restaurant that we did eat at. It was delicious, but I was still suffering from my anorexia and did not eat my whole meal. The poor waitress was really upset. I told her the meal was so good, but my body was having trouble with eating. I am not sure if she understood me. I felt pretty bad.

Now for the Catacombs.

May 25, 2017: Les Catacombs

Visiting the Catacombs was a learning experience. I underestimated the popularity of the bones placed under the city. I should have purchased advanced tickets. We wound up waiting in line for three hours. Once again, as I have mentioned in a few other posts, purchase advance tickets or “tours” of the tourist sites. The app I liked the most was Viator. Just make sure to plan out what sites you want to see before you leave as you will most likely need to print out the tickets. Most sites do not have a mobile check-in option.

Some flowers in the garden near the Catacomb entrance.

Gabriel wearing his handy dandy tourist vest.

I really like the buildings in Paris. I took a lot of pictures of homes, businesses, and Metro stations.

More flowers. We were by the garden for a very long time.

Pretty kitty. This was about two and a half hours in. We were close to the entrance

Finally. We made it in. There are a lot of stairs, then some tunnels. It was so cool in there. It felt really good after our long wait in the hot sun.

I don’t know why, but this sign made me giggle. It was for a small auditorium, but, to me, it looks like a guy surrounded by bowling balls.

The Catacombs are enormous. They have blocked off a number of other tunnels to keep people from getting lost. People still find other ways into other parts of the Catacombs and get lost. There are also a few levels. This gate is actually blocking a window looking down on a lower level. We walked under this window a little later.

The tunnels were naturally created by high ocean levels. This means that there are fossils in the walls and interesting shells have been found.

Shhh. I might have taken pictures, but I did not use a flash. I also did not pet the skulls.

Now, on to the part everyone is interested in. The bones. A little history:

This ossuary was created as place to deposit the remains of a mass grave in the Saint Innocents cemetery. The grave had started to break down and caused damage to some of the infrastructure around it.
It now houses approximately six million people from a few cemeteries. The remains were not always so organized. The bones were organized in a more visitable way in 1810 when the ossuary was renovated.
Public visits were largely limited to four tours per year. I believe they started to allow daily tours after Paris hosted the World’s Fair in 1900.

One of those closed off tunnels.

This was the only skull with teeth. It was also a slightly different color than the others.

Some of the sights we saw on our way back to our hotel.

This is something that I had also seen in Portugal in 1995. Saving the façade of the building, but putting up a more modern building behind it. I believe it allows the city to retain its classic charm without falling behind the times. Or having people fall through floors that are hundreds of years old.

I love French graffiti. Also, this little stone shack is adorable.

Our final dinner in Paris. My burger was delicious.

Our desserts were works of art. The top is some sort of ice cream with puff pastry deliciousness and the next one is a perfect crème brûlée.

May 26: Leaving Paris

 

Some pictures of the city as our taxi driver took us back to the airport.

At the airport. Even the stores in the airport have beautiful displays.

An airport art gallery.

Last selfie in Paris.

I started tearing up at this point. My Paris adventure was more than I had expected. I didn’t realize I was going to miss it, but I do.

Mount Rainier. We made it back to Seattle. We had also flown over the Tri-Cities. I was on the wrong side of the plane to get a picture of my neighborhood.

Made it home from Seattle.

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Paris Part V: L’Arc de Triomphe (and some chemo stuff)

I am trying out something new today. I am writing on my blog using my tablet with an attached keyboard. This blog was actually the reason for the keyboard, but it has come in handy for emails and other things that require typing.

I am also starting this post while away from home. I am currently getting prepped to have my 4th chemotherapy.

Hi! I am wearing my Esprit shirt that I got in Paris.

And some pictures of my poisons. The red syringe is Adriamycin. The nurse pushes that in manually to make sure my blood return is good. This ensures that an IV needle hasn’t moved. I am using my port, so the needle moving is a moot point, but it is policy and I am fine with my nurses making sure the poison is going where it is supposed to go.

The top IV bag is filled with Cytotoxen. This bag will take at least an hour to empty. The bottom bag is saline.

Now on to the more fun stuff. Our visit to The Arch of Triumph.

May 24, 2017 L’Arc de Triomphe

Our day started with breakfast at Le Comptoir de l’Europe and a surprise for Gabriel.

Our friend, Jessie, is a flight attendant and was able to make time to visit us in Paris. We had not seen her in forever. It is kind of funny that it was easier to meet up with her in France than in the US. Our breakfast was so very good. I was still having issues with eating and I ate both eggs, the baguettes, and most of the other stuff put in front of me. I will forever believe that Paris healed my cancer-induced anorexia. J’adore Paris.

After breakfast, Jessie took a nap and we went off to do laundry. Our ticket for L’Arc was set for a few hours later. I tried to figure out how to ask where the laundromat was. I think my French translator has a snarky streak. See my Eiffel Tower post for another example.

As we walked to the nearest laundrette, we saw a wedding procession. I only got one good picture of a car as they came past the laundromat. They were decorated with beautiful bouquets.

We sat in a decent café across the street while our laundry washed and dried.

They sold hand-made sausages.

We had enough time to meander/get lost on our way back to the hotel. I took a few pictures of the church and some other buildings that caught my eye.

As always, there was music in the Metro tunnels. Paris really spoiled me with music playing everywhere.

The Arch is impressive. As it was meant to be. Napoleon had commissioned it after a victory and it was completed in 1836.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The view from the top was breathtaking. Gabriel and I are in agreement that we preferred this view to the one from the Eiffel Tower. However, I still enjoyed our Eiffel Tower visit.

Here is a picture of the crazy traffic in Paris.

And my favorite picture of Gabriel and me.

There was a display of various parts of statues that were not used on the outside of the Arc once it was completed. My favorite is Alexander the Great. I think he looks offended. I also like his little head dragon.

I guess I was looking sickly that day. The guard checking us in had us use the lift rather than the stairs. Honestly, I was grateful. We had a lot of walking planned for the day. I did take the spiral stairs down. I was dizzy by the time I got to the bottom. I wasn’t the only one. More than a few people had to stop partway to get their bearings.

When we got to the bottom, we discovered a memorial service was starting. We stayed for a bit, but we felt it was something personal and did not want to intrude.

Something that I haven’t really mentioned was the military presence in Paris. It was unnerving at first, but I got used to seeing these young men.

We wandered along Champs-Elysees and window shopped all the stores from which we couldn’t afford a tissue. We also paid our respects at the memorial to the three officers who were killed on April 20, 2017.

We meandered around the area and found a café. The waiter was a grumpy old man. I liked him. He did soften up to us after a crazy woman from Brazil sat down near us. We were not as demanding or as nuts as she was. When we paid up, he very sternly reminded us that he did not want a tip.

A note on tipping:

I am not sure about other countries, but in France, it is considered an insult to leave a tip. The wait staff are paid very well and do not need extra money to make a livable wage. Mind blowing.

We also had dinner near the Champs-Elysees. I really enjoyed my food, but the wait staff were not so friendly and refused our cards. Luckily, we had enough Euros between the three of us to pay for dinner.

We walked back to our hotel rather than take the Metro. I took pictures of shoes because I really love shoes.

And this old taxi.

And, finally, this is some artwork that we saw almost everyday. It is in a busy square that has a Metro, train station, grocery store, and mall. During the day, it is always filled with people and food carts.

It was a good day.

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