The morning began with Angela attempting to track down her bag. Continental said they had it at the airport and this was perfect because it allowed me to go to the catacombs, as I was the only one that thought it would be interesting to see a bunch of bones. We all went to Gare du Nord and dropped our bags in a baggage locker. When we get to the train station there is a scene going on. I would call it a riot, but the Police were there and it didn't seem violent, but it was far from peaceful. It's as if each participant had their own noise maker. It was such a cacophony of sounds it gave me an instant headache. Anyway, we leave pretty quickly with Jackie, Ayanna and Angela heading to CDG and me going to the Catacombs of Paris.
I had tried to find the catacombs on a previous trip to Paris with no success. I have no idea why I could not find it before because it is directly across from the metro stop. Anyway, entering the catacombs is kind of creepy in of itself because it has a sign that basically says you may want to turn back now. Also, the couple in front of me kept saying, "God, can you believe such and such came here alone." Nice! Truthfully, however, only walking the 500 meters in the dark narrow hallways creeped me out. The bones and skulls and things weren't creepy, just interesting. This place exists basically because long ago the people of Paris were becoming sick from the cemetaries. So they closed down the cemetaries and moved the bones to old quarries.
Outside of Notre Dame
..which are now the catacombs. I don't know how large scale this thing is, but really turn after turn is just bones, bones, and more bones. I spent an hour and a half down there and then I just meandered the streets of Paris. I was waiting on a call from Angela to find out their progress in securing the bag. I spent another hour just foot cruising and then decided to take the metro towards Notre Dame. I called Angela and told her I would be at a restaurant near Notre Dame when they were ready. I indulged myself with pizza, wine and tiramisu. Yummy! This was also some of the best people watching. I was at a little sidewalk table and I turned my chair to watch the world go by. It was so interesting I could have stayed forever.
Stained Glass window of Notre Dame
I was pretty much just nursing my glass of wine when Ang, Yanna and Jackie finally showed up. They checked out a couple of shops before we headed over to Notre Dame. So having spent time in Italy last year, Notre Dame no longer is as striking as it was when I first saw it, but it was still grand and the stained glass windows can't hold a candle to most I've seen. Also, at Notre Dame, God tells you to be quiet or at least a voice sounding like God says "Shhhh" and everyone ignores God's wishes just like always. Outside, while we were taking pictures we spied a man dressed like a dog. Actually, that's incorrect, the man was dressed like a man, but wearing a dog head. There was a photographer taking pictures of him and what is interesting is that we were far more interested in this than others.
This picture is funny, because no one else walking by is even looking at this...as if you see a man in a dog head and suit everyday.
Just goes to show how people rush around not really taking in their environment. Everyone was just focused on Notre Dame and yet here is this dog man dressed in a tux.
After Notre Dame we separated with me going my way...I can't remember why. I was supposed to meet them over at the Louvre, but I got preoccupied just strolling around checking out the sights and sounds of Paris and then I got all turned around. I finally told them to just meet me at Gare du Nord by the baggage drop. We met up and headed for the Eurostar. Now, I take full responsibilty for the mayhem which would now take place. After all, I have taken the Eurostar before and should have remembered that it is set up like an airport rather than your typical train station.
Lounging by the Seine
So we get upstairs at 6:28 for a 6:43 departure. The employees were very kind and said hurry come to the front. So we skipped the initial line, however we still had to wait in line for customs, check in, and go through security. Needless to say things were not looking good. I finally bust on to the scene at 6:41, but when I look back I don't see the rest of my party. The employee nearest me asks me which car and when I respond 1, she says "Run!" And so I run, and run, and run, there must be a thousand cars. I stop only once to check my status (because it's pretty easy to find the first car) Coach 8- At this point I am sweating and panting and nervous because no one is coming behind me.
I finally make it to the first car just as bells start whistling - "SHIT" I hop on and try to ask the guy if the train can wait, meanwhile I am frantically calling Angela. In the middle of all this, the doors to the car close. I could not possibe describe the sensation of horror that I had right then, but I can tell you when the train started moving, it really hit me. I left those guys in Paris :( I trudged to my seat and sat down dejected. Why did I even get on the train without waiting for them...I beat myself up a hundred different ways (even though the next train leaves at 7:13). I am just deciding that it really isn't the worst thing in the world, when the door between the cars opens and my sister and crew walk on. Ang says that they were told they would never make it to the front so they have been walking through the cars. As the train makes it's way out of Paris, I laugh out of relief. Still, I am also thinking...they didn't know I was on the train. They would have left me!