|Gothic arch at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral|
Paris. The City of Light. The city that captures the imaginations of people the world over. This would be my third visit and I knew enough to brace myself. Paris is an adult dose, as they say. It comes at you full on.
I was both eager and apprehensive at the prospect. I got checked in to my little room, unpacked, and crashed.
The next morning I set out, hoping to see the famous Catacombs of Paris. But, after a half-hour Metro commute I arrived at the entrance only to learn that the Catacombs are closed on Mondays. Ah, well.
I made a snap decision to instead make a visit to the Louvre museum.
|Michael whipping up on Satan. Why can't we all just get along?|
But the line was long, long, long and moved at a snail's pace. The interminable short step shuffle was made all the more unpleasant by a group of boorish Germans behind me who jostled everyone around them, yelled and guffawed, and just generally set my teeth on edge. I spent 2 full hours on queue before, footsore and grumpy, I finally got inside.
|Hoard of ravenous art consumers|
First, I saw some sculpture.
|Cleopatra in the Louvre|
|Narcissus couldn't get enough of himself|
Well, what can you do? These masterpieces belong to everyone. No one has the right to deny them to anyone else.
|Passion of the Christ|
|Death of Cleopatra|
|Another renaissance masterpiece|
|Can't remember the name of this one, but everybody sure was making a fuss over it|
|Islamic tile art|
|Islamic tile art|
|Oriental tile art|
If, dear reader, you ever find yourself in Paris, I urge you to allot some time to visit the Louvre. You won't be disappointed. And don't let my story about the long line discourage you. There are ways you can bypass the line by purchasing tickets in advance or through an agency. I've done it that way before.
|Entrance to the ossuary|
The French government, came up with an ingenious "kill two birds with one stone" solution. A project to reinforce the tunnels to prevent collapse coincided with a decision to evacuate the human remains in Paris's many cemeteries and to inter them in the tunnels. The idea was adopted as law in 1785.
|Walls of bones|
|Cataloging the remains|
|Skulls and femurs|
|Poetry in the Catacombs: "Think in the morning that you may not live until the evening and in the evening that you may not live until the morning."|
|Join you soon enough, I warrant.|