On Good Friday we decided to check out the The Catacombs of Paris (the “municipal Ossuary”) - the biggest necropolis in the world with over 7 million bones .
We seem to have a thing for bones and creepy places. The quarries under the city of Paris extend over hundreds of kilometers and date back to the 12th century.
Fast forward a few hundred years and Paris was facing a housing problem - the housing of dead bodies. Victims of the black plague, epidemics, starvation, of all the wars since the middle ages were piled up on several levels in the mass graves of the churches throughout Paris. The health risks of this overcrowding was enormous and they eventually decided to transfer the remains to the emptied quarries.
The bones were transferred and organised according to genre. Great care was taken to stack the bones in an aesthetically pleasing manner because of the tours; some could even say it looks beautiful in the creepy glow.
I'll be honest, after 5 minutes the bones all blur into each other and the fact that these had been stacked for the 'tour' made it seem a little less 'authentic' than what we had seen in Asia. The idea that this lay under the city of Paris is crazy and I'm glad we had the experience of seeing it.
Christina is Catholic and so after the tombs we went to mass at a church nearby. It was cool inside the packed church and even though the mood was sombre it was quite calm and relaxing. I really enjoy religious ceremonies because of the feeling of togetherness - there must have been over 50 different nationalities in that church alone.
Our Friday afternoon consisted of strolling around Saint Germaine, peeking inside the lovely little shops and enjoying an ice-cream whilst people watching on the steps of another church.
We came across these street performers outside of the metro stop; their lively music had the whole sidewalk of people bopping their heads and laughing along at their comical antics. I could have watched them the entire night.
Friday evening we took little Kaiso for a walk and this was followed by an amazing dinner at Hotel de Coste with Dominic.
This place is fabulous! If you're ever in Paris I'd highly recommend checking it out, even if just for a drink at the bar. Despite the ridiculously skinny and gorgeous waiting staff, they're all very friendly and the food is delicious. The photos are via their website (We were told off for trying to take photos!) but they don't really relay the atmosphere inside the restaurant. It's so cosy and chic, exactly what I imagine Paris to 'feel' like. I'm not one to take photos of my food but I wish I had taken a shot of the crab starter and our cheesecake dessert; they.were.to.die.for.
I took the first shot on our way home from dinner - totally wrong camera setting but I quite like how it turned out! I then convinced Chris to make oneeee more trip to the Trocadero; I really wanted some shots of the tower at night. Luckily it wasn't too crowded and we 'oohed' and 'aahed' with everyone else as the tower sparkled on the hour.
A romantic end to a wonderful day in Paris; pity Chris isn't my type.