After a late night, I slept in just a bit, before getting ready to head out and see Paris. I really wanted to see the catacombs, but after reading on their web site ahead of time, I knew the line could become really long, like four hours of waiting long. So I figured I’d start the day with that and get there when they were first opening at ten. So I left my apartment just after nine. First, I got lost trying to retrace my steps to the metro. I had taken a random route the night before and now in the light of day, I couldn’t figure it out. Turns out, not to help matters, the metro in Paris is not very well marked. There’s no large red and blue “Underground” sign that you’ll find all over London. There’s just the metro entrance with a dull, drab, faded green and yellow “metro” over the stairs down. It’s really easy to miss, especially if it’s down the street a ways, or across a busy intersection… So, eventually I found it, but after wasting a lot of time.
Now, the metro is fairly quick, but it still took about twenty minutes to reach the area I wanted. I didn’t check my map before hopping off, mistake #2. The stop was Montparnasse, which I knew the cemetery by that name was right by the catacombs… Well, the stop put me on the opposite side of the cemetery and a bit of a walk from it as well. So, after a bit of a hike, I finally find myself at the cemetery. Looking at the street map on my tablet, I decided cutting through it might be faster, plus, who doesn’t want to walk through an old Paris cemetery?
Well, mistake #3, not because I got lost or it wasn’t possible to cut through, but because it was a beautiful old Paris cemetery!! I couldn’t not take pictures of this stone, this sculpture, this crypt… By the time I made it out of there and finally made it to the catacombs, it was getting towards 11. The line for the catacombs ran all the way around the little block/round-a-bout that it was located on. I assume that’s the four hour line they were talking about on their website. A bit defeated, I decided, rather than waste four hours of my short time in Paris, to move on and retry this the next morning, when I would know how to get here. Which, by the way, the Rochereau metro stop opens up right across from the catacombs…
I decided to try the Louvre next and get that done with. I’m not very into art. Yes, it’s beautiful, but to me one painting looks no different than the next. I was far more interested in the ancient Egyptian section than the paintings, even with the Mona Lisa… which, I will say is a hilarious spectacle, with all of the tourists, jammed into one little section of a big room, desperately trying to snap pictures over the heads of everyone else with their phones and tablets… I snapped a picture like them all, but my focus wasn’t the Mona Lisa, it was the silliness of the scene! From there I moved on to the sculpture section, which is about the only art form I do really enjoy. To be able to do the things those sculptors are capable of, to make stone look so life like… It’s impressive. Oh, and for the Louvre, grab their informational map!! That place is a giant maze!