pre-travel fun

April 20, 2011 - Lyon, France

Woot!! I leave for Prague in 7 hours! Have I slept? Of course not. Do I intend to tonight? ... I would really like to still. :( Unfortunately, I have to be up at 4 or so anyways to get to the train station to get to the airport. But I AM packed! AND I have all my tickets and important paperwork! So even if all else fails, I'll still be able to get around. :) It's all so stressful though!

On another note, I uploaded the last pictures from Paris! ...if you don't like bones, don't look at them. The first thing I did on my last day was to go to the Paris catacombs, which are famous. Now I know why. In the 1700s or so, Paris's cemeteries were a bit too crowded and they ran out of space to put newly dead people (darn plagues!), so the mayor (I think) ordered all the graves exhumed and all bodies brought into the old quarries below the city. The bones were arranged... artistically. Apparently ossuaries like this are known for being "artistic creations" of sorts. All the long bones are stacked on top of each other to make walls and then the skulls are used like decoration, forming patterns and such. All the rest of the bones are hidden behind these ornamented walls. I... am not sure how I felt about it. The catacombs were a place of curiosity and amusement for the middle class of the 1800s and 1900s, so a lot of the decoration and quotes there were set for amusement, or to create an atmosphere of sorts. But the SHEAR NUMBER of BONES! I couldn't believe how many bones there were. They're all organized by which graveyard they were taken from as well. I am not often confronted by human remains, so it made me pause. I was alone too (Amanda was working on an exam at home), which was nice actually, because it let me have me own thoughts and walk at my own pace. It was interesting to listen to people's conversations and comments, too. How one cannot be affected by the sight of literally thousands, if not a million of human remains, I don't know. ...I also wonder how one determines that walking around in the midst of all these exposed, decaying ossuary remains does not affect one's health. Just sayin. I don't know how many of those people had died from the plague or other infectious diseases....

But yeah, so on to happier topics! I went to the Opera Garnier after that: the opera that the Phantom of the Opera was/is supposed  to have lived in! And WOW. SO BEAUTIFUL. Unbelievably extravagant too, although I was rather shocked at how small it seemed. I could definitely see how the Phantom would be perfect there, and where the theatre/movie got its inspiration for the decor. :)

After that, Amanda and I did a little shopping and I bought the best sandals EVER which was so needed, as apparently my brain did not find sandals necessary when I was packing in december. Also, I included some pictures of some jewelery we saw in a shop window... a little inspiration for ya, Momma. :D

And now, TO PRAGUE!!


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