Fosh in Paris - Part OneOur house, is just one hour and twenty minutes from Paris (if it could fly at 900km an hour). So needless to say, (which i will) i jumped at the chance to go to France for a quick business trip with my Father. So after many hours of research on the internet, with the help of hostel world, Aer Lingus and Yahoo Maps, i found the cheapest deal so both members of Fosh could go to Paris for the best part of a week.
We left Ernie at the long term car park at Dublin airport, and departed before sunrise. We arrived around 10am and caught the RATP bus from Charles de Gaulle and got our first taste of Paris from a non tourist point of view. We checked in near Porte de Montreuil which is in the 20eme arrondissement, and then we set off for a nice long romantic evening walk through the Latin Quarter, St-Germain des Pres (sorry i cannot get accents working for HTML today). The city is so alive and full of activity and recognisable French words, i completely forget to take photographs. And anything i say here is really just going to sound like a wide eyed bushy tailed cliche so i'll just let you look at the pictures (of which there are none)
Dinner was executed in French (thanks to fo fo), we ate it and life is good
I left for Nimes the next morning via the TGV train. Wow, it's really fast. I felt it was crusing at 300km/hr and i find out later, that it does cruise at 300km/hr. It has even been tested at 515km an hour, but realistically, the rail system could not accommodate that sort of speed. Fo Fo is left to explore Paris for a couple of days, whilst i do some work in the local Hospital, installing OS X Panther on a Gastroenterological system.
Apon my return, i'm greeted by an enthusiastic fo fo at Gare de Nord, we have japanese lunch, (yes, cheese stuffed Yakitori included) and head off for some serious death. Just to celebrate life. We Metro hop to Cimetiere Du Montparnasse to find the slightly elusive Catacombs.
We enter a mysterious little green house and head down, down, down into the bowels of Paris, down an ever winding clockwise stair case. When we hit the bottom, we walk walk walk through claustraphobic tunnels which appear to stretch for miles and miles. No instructions for English speaking people here. The tunnels drip water, the walls close in. It feels as if we are a part of the French Resistance (who actually used this place duing WW2). Then we just, like that, stumble into a dark series of catacombs housing dead, very dead people. Not just lots of them, but thousands of them, stacked femeur to skull like cellar bottles. Eeck. It is indeed a mortal experience to be in the presence of so many human bones. I nearly turned around and walked out the way we came in. Fo fo had to catch her breath. Then we adjusted ourselves and proceeded to walk through about 300 years of buried humans. If you are ever in Paris, and want to experience a subterranean nether world, this is the place to be.
We leave the underworld and make it back above ground and slip back into the society of the living. We dart in and out around mad car drivers and head for a much
needed Coffee. That afternoon, we Metro to Place de la Concorde and walk down the Avenue des Champs Elyeese before my feet give in. I simply cannot
go any furthur. I now know why the people of Paris are not obese. The Metro is an exercise regime. ..and every word i use to express my thoughts is French in origin.