Paris 14 Observatoire

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17 travelers at this place

  • Day6

    Catacombs of Paris

    November 15, 2016 in France ⋅ 🌫 9 °C

    Nobody told me there would be a bunch more stairs today! The catacombs are very deep down a creepy spiral staircase. It was almost nauseating going round and round the stairs. It was super cool though. Glad I went.

    The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries that hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of the ancient Mines of Paris tunnel network. From 1786 to 1788, bones were transferred from cemeteries in the city to the mines to resolve Paris' problem with overflowing cemeteries.
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  • Day3

    Catacombs, Paris

    September 1, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After a very busy morning getting lost and walking for what felt like ages, we headed back to our room to rest our feet for a bit before heading to the famous Catacombs of Paris.

    This time we didn’t get lost and found the Catacombs quite easily, although we were very surprised by the appearance of the entrance as it looked like an abandoned building. After an hour and a half long line-up in the sun we finally got to enter the Catacombs. Heading down underground was a bit daunting to start with but I quickly got use to it, and it was so hard to believe that these ancient man-made tunnels are still accessible today.

    The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries which hold the remains of more than six million people as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries. Work began in 1774 after a series of gruesome Saint Innocents-cemetery-quarter basement wall collapses added a sense of urgency to the cemetery-eliminating measure. From 1786, nightly processions of covered wagons transferred remains from most of Paris' cemeteries to the mine shaft opening.

    The ossuary remained largely forgotten until it became a novelty-place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century. It was open to public visitation from 1874.

    This is one of those places that you have to see to believe. It is almost too much to take in - the rows and rows and walls of bones and skulls placed in perfect formation, and the sheer size and quantity of tunnels filled with remains. It also makes you wonder who decided to create different patterns with the bones and skulls. It feels so disrespectful yet interesting at the same time.

    Certainly an experience I will never forget.
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  • Day16

    Them Bones!

    December 30, 2016 in France ⋅ 🌫 -2 °C

    We had another late start to the day, maybe because it's minus 2 outside when we woke up. A brisk walk down to the bakery to get our breakfast. The people are getting to know us and teaching us a bit of French. We set off for the day with extra layers, feeling like a womble. We caught the metro out to the Catacoombs only to find the line goes around the block. We line up as we tried to visit the last time we were here but it was closed. At one stage we had tiny snowflakes falling on us. While waiting, we see a homeless man sleeping on the street. I can't imagine how cold he would be. A few people buy him a hot drink & food but he doesn't move. No he's not dead, little movement, may be frozen.
    I started this at 11am while waiting in the line it is now 3.30pm & we are still waiting. Amazing I thought we would have weeded out the weak but no they are just like us, cold to the core & still waiting. It took us close to 5 hours to get in. Was it worth it??? Well it was something we wanted to see I'm glad we have seen it, no not worth a 5hr wait. Then again I don't think anything is worth that long of a wait in the freezing cold. I don't think it got past 0 degrees today. By the way, we had Brodie entertaining us with his whinging for 5 hours. He would have rather been at a Christmas Market! That was our day gone, but in that time you do chat to the people around you in the line. We are going out tonight on a night bus tour. At 9pm it's meant to be -4. Great, just loving this cold weather.

    Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, - Catacoombs
    Photo 6 - A of the quarter of the line
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  • Day1

    Paris and Fontainebleau Graduation

    July 7, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    After a pretty smooth flight, we arrived in Paris from Abu Dhabi. It had been a long night/morning as we left Sammy's grandma's house at 3:30 am and arrived in Paris 11 hours later. We managed to get to where we were staying: a simple, inexpensive but quite spacious and clean apartment in the 13th district. So we wouldn't miss what had been our home too much, it was surrounded by Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai restIaurants (ahh the nostalgia... Sniff sniff). After resting for a bit, we went to an amazing French steakhouse and met two of my old college friends from my time in Canada: Camille and Julie. It's funny, the last time I stayed in Paris almost 12 years ago I had come to visit them both and now I got to see them both again! (Again with the nostalgia... LOL)
    It was wonderful catching up and enjoying amazing wine, food and company.
    The next day we set off to enjoy the streets of Paris. Walking really is the best way to get to know the city, and walking we did.
    After an hour's worth of walking we had lunch at a very nice crepe place and then got to Luxembourg gardens. The place is beautiful and it is a great place for kids. Alex had a blast running around and trying the different rides in the massive playground. Afterwards we had fun just vegging out on the lawn and enjoying the beautiful summer day. We then walked to the Eiffel tower where we stopped again on the surrounding grounds to take in the view and then stopped at a Lebanese restaurant on Champes Elisee where Alex had a bite and we charged our phones, (food wasn't too bad either). Finally we walked to the Tulleries Gardens and the Louvre before ending up in a quaint restaurant close to Notre Dame.
    It was a jam packed day that we thoroughly enjoyed although our feet were dying by the end of it.

    The next day we met Cris, my sister, at the gare de Lyon train station and then head out to Note Dame. We had a lovely light supper at a cafe across from the cathedral where we strolled around and then headed back to the hotel to pickup our bags and take the train to Fontainebleau. The train took a lot longer than expected and we arrived quite late.
    We had a lot of luggage with us and there wasn't a taxi in sight at the station. Of course the elevators to use the underpass to get to the other side of the station weren't working. Fortunately, we got some help from a weird looking guy (kind of scary) and then walked for 4 min to the hotel.
    In the morning, it was time to get ready for the big day ahead; the reason we had come to France in the first place, the INSEAD graduation!
    The ceremony took place at the majestic Fontainebleau castle (or chateau) and it was a beautiful (but very long) event.
    It was wonderful to meet our friends one last time, but heart-wrenching having to say good bye yet again. Tears of joy and nostalgia couldn't be stopped as we said or final goodbyes that same night and the following day.
    The day after graduation, my sister flew off to London and Sammy, Alex and I headed to the INSEAD campus to see what our lives could have looked like, had we decided to not stay in Singapore for the entire 10 month program. The campus is very big and very beautiful! It has a collegial charm that makes you feel like you are in a university, unlike the campus at Singapore (still no regrets, singy forever!)
    The town itself wasn't at all what I'd expected; it was very charming, not as small as I'd thought, and you could walk everywhere. (I was expecting a repeat of Coopersburg as it had been described to me as a tiny town in the middle of the forest).
    In the evening of our last day in Fonty we had a wonderful picnic with our friends who were still in town. We sat on the chateau's garden grounds by the pond. Not only was it breathtaking and peaceful but also extremely yummy! Too our flight we didn't even need music add there was a jazz festival taking place right next to us. We couldn't have planned it better if we tried! We got our supplies from a local grocery store where I went a little crazy with the options of cold cuts, pathes, wine and amazing bread and veery decent prices.
    It was the perfect close to a perfect year. Now or INSEAD adventure was truly over. Sniff sniff, thanks for the memories INSEAD!

    The next morning we flew to London to start our final trip in Europe: our 2 week cruise in the Mediterranean.
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  • Day15

    Catacombs Paris

    November 16, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    Today was Jay's day. He's really wanted to go to the Catacombs, ever since arriving. I, on the other hand, feel contaminated and soaked in germs and grime just thinking about it! And I'm not too sure if it's very appropriate for the little explorers....but I went...just for him....haha.

    Our day started off with a VERY expensive "buffet" breakfast in the basement of our hotel. "Buffet" meaning, one thing for each of meat piece of cheese...haha. It was a cute basement area, almost cave like....but the food was not worth the price.

    We took the train to the Catacombs...I'm not sure how, but as navigator...I admit...I somehow had us exit one stop too early! So we had to walk quite a ways....through a tent city!! It was a very educational walk for Morgan, who had many questions about the tents and the area. She wasn't afraid, she wasn't judgemental, she was just...curious. I was very proud of her. She addressed her curiosity with great questions and showed concern for the residents, as it is quite chilly at night at this time of year. They do say that it's not usually this cold, but we lucked out and came during an unusual cold

    It was quite a wait once we found the catacombs...we are lucky we were as early as we were. The line quadrupled behind us!! We only had to wait about 35 minutes to get in as we didn't buy tickets in advance. Another 130 steps...this time going down underground. Wow...another different and so interesting. The girls loved exploring the tunnels and the catacombs. Morgan had many questions and was interested in the history and origin of the area. The history is quite fascinating. We spent about an hour underground, then resurfaced near a bakery selling "skull" meringue! Delicious!

    Instead of walking through the tent city again...haha...we opted for the closer train station this time!
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Paris 14 Observatoire, 75014