I couldn’t decide if I wanted to see the Paris Catacombs or not. On the one hand it seemed like a can’t miss opportunity. I mean who else buries 6 million people underground and makes it a tourist attraction? On the other hand, it’s kind of gross and sad. I left it up to my travel partner. If she was game then so was I. We took the train out there and saw the line to get in to the ossuaries was literally around the block. We left and meandered the lovely streets of La Butte-aix-Cailles instead thinking the line might die down later in the day. Turns out one needs to prepare to wait a long while if they want to stare at a bunch of dead people miles underground.
The catacombs were created to solve the problem of overcrowding in the cemeteries which had been closed due to health concerns. The bones of millions of people were transferred in to the abandoned quarries in 1786-1859 and only opened later in the 19th century as a tourist attraction. I still don’t know how I feel about taking money from people to go and visit a “cemetery” but I hope the money goes to the upkeep of the place.
I am grateful I was with my friend because it would have been pretty creepy to do on one’s own. After descending and ascending what felt like a million stairs we got our minds off of the fact we had just walked by and photographed human remains and ate dinner at one of the best Italian Restaurants I have ever attended @ Cafe Latarantella. All was right in the world once more after that dinner.
Any guess on how this person passed away?
This post was inspired by Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge. Check out my last Odd Ball Challenge from Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
A good travel partner can be hard to find. When you have a good one you stick with them. My German friend Manuela and I have been traveling together since we met taking a college class in Dublin in 1999. And sometimes, you have to take one for the team. She insisted on taking me to see a cemetery…in Paris. I wasn’t terribly interested in visiting a bunch of dead people when I had only 9 days in Europe at first. But, the photographer in me won out and looked forward to the photo opportunities creep factor or no. And a cemetery originally built in 1804 would surely have some great things to capture.
The weather cooperated despite the cold, very cold weather and periodic rain. It afforded me time to visit: Oscar Wild (whose grave had been broken sadly only days before by overzealous visitors), Edith Piaf (whose voice transcends her death), Amadeus Modiliani (who like many others only achieved fame after death), Eugene DelaCroix (whose work I only became familiar with while I was visiting Paris), Jim Morrison (I later saw the hotel where he passed away in Paris), Eloise & Abelard (One of the most interesting love stories I have heard in a long time), and various moving shrines to Jewish people who lost their lives in concentration camps from WWII.
The cemetery is huge something like 100+ acres! One could spend all day wandering through its roadmap. If there is anyone in particular you desire to see take a map or you will surely waste your time and get lost. Avoid the tour guides who accost your ear, come out of nowhere, insist on taking your money, unless you want to make quick work of the cemetery in order to make haste to a cafe or bistro.
Be aware if you choose this place as your final resting place, unless you are famous, you will be dug up and cremated after 100 years to make room for more!
Eloise & Abelard
Near Jim MOrrison
This post is submitted as part of Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge!
I’ve lived my whole life in this area and always heard of Mark Twain’s famous Jumping Frog Jubilee. I finally put it on the calendar and made a point of going. I needed to see those silly frogs jump at the famous Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angel’s Camp, California!
It turns out it was great fun to watch the kids “jockey” the frogs. Some were creeped out and others fearlessly kissed their frog and sent it on its way. Some jumped and bounced making me fear for the frogs life. (Thankfully none were squashed/harmed while I was watching.)
The adults weren’t as much fun to watch as the kids but the length the frogs were jumping was far more impressive. (Upwards towards 18 feet was the maximum I witnessed.) The 30 year old record was made by Rosie the Ribiter at 21 feet 5 3/4 inches! Other clever frog names include: Froggy Balboa, Joe Frogtana, and Hillary Croakin.
Small town festivals are a lot of fun. I challenge you to tell me about a small town festival with a more interesting theme that jumping frog challenges! 🙂
For other Gold Country Posts please click here.
Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge
A Jubilee must qualify as “Jubilant” for the Daily Post, right?
A young friend of mine expressed some interest in learning photography recently. I was going to take her to my backyard and teach her some basics about her camera. But, instead, another random opportunity presented itself. Mike’s Camera Shop in downtown Sacramento hosted a free photography meetup at the Sacramento Train Museum. I couldn’t think of a less interesting place to take a 12 year old girl so we headed out with promises that it would be a great place to practice her skills. It turned out we both had a blast taking photos of “creepy manikins”, welds, train wheels, cattle guards, old luggage, and to be honest things I don’t even know the name of. I considered it a success because my young friend took hundreds of photos and never got tired of looking at the details of cool old trains. She left boasting terms like depth of field, manual focus, and shutter speed. A highlight for me was watching her lay on the floor in order to get a cool shot with a “fuzzy background” as she called it. (Good photographers always get on the ground in my book!) We rewarded ourselves with an ice cream cone and a walk through Old Sacramento!
Train nerds rejoice. (You know who you are.) I took far more photos of train details than I care to admit. I hope you enjoy!
I consider this to be an “odd” subject to photograph so I am happy to submit the post to Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge!
Odd ball items can be found anywhere. But, here is a collection of photos I don’t think I have shared yet. Check out the off ball side of Ireland for Cee’s photo challenge!
Random Donkey Carving in Antrim
Guinness in Baby Bottles Sign
Jail art seen through a cell door at Kilmainham Gaol
More Irish Donkeys
Waterless Boats in Galway
Large Building full of “stuffed” animals. This deer lived a long time ago and was massive!
Animal Graveyard at Powerscourt Gardens
Animal Graveyard at Powerscourt Gardens
Strange Stones at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland
Guinness Street Art in Dublin
To see some of my other photo challenges click here.