jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 42 [12 Mar 09] – Paris

Posted in Paris by jn82 on March 13, 2009

There are so many great sights to see in Paris, but as we had very limited time in the city, we decided just to visit those which interested us and were very famous. The first one today was to the Catacombes. This probably is not as famous as the other tourist attractions, but it interested us very much, as how often is it you get to see millions of human bones neatly arranged and placed into purpose built underground tunnels? After a bit of touble finding the Caracombes from the train station due to no clear markings, we decended 20 metres underground, below Paris’ metro, sweage and water systems. A further 500 metre walk later in a dark, damp and cold tunnel, we were greeted by the remains of an estimated three million of French people from centuries past, whose bodies had been exhumed from grave sites around the city when the city needed more land to build stuff on.

500m of tunnel like this before the prize.

Notice the arrangement of bones and artistic placement of skulls to form two lines, how neat.

Even more creative, I think these are skull men?

Very neat. Bottom section bones facing one way, middle section skull divider, top section bones facing another way.

I thought this would make a good post card for Halloween or something.

Big cross of human skulls.

After seeing this, I guess that if you had to stack and arrange millions of bones and skulls, you might as well make it look nice so you can open the place up as an attraction to the public. The creative and neat arrangement of the bones was really something very unusual and interesting. You might think I actually played with some of the bones, but I will leave you to guess about that part.

After the Catacombes and a cheap chinese lunch, we headed to the Lourve, probably the world’s most famous art gallery. It is impossible to finish the Lourve with one visit or maybe even ten (we were told that if you were to spend just 30 seconds at each exhibit, it would take a consecutive four to seven months to finish the entire Lourve), so we just decided to catch a few of the more well known art pieces, as well as French, Dutch and Flemish oil paintings.

The inverted pyramid, probably one of the bigger draws of the Lourve to me.

Da Vinci code nerds would know what this is.

Venus de Milo.

Victory wings.

This is (GAY) Spartaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

French crown jewels. Not impressive at all.



Boob job?


Over the years, the Lourve has had many famous and expensive art pieces stolen from it many times, and this is probably one of the reasons why.

Siesta time.

Oh yeah, there is also this picture of a rather unattractive women with a sly smirk on her face people were crowded around. Have no idea what the big fuss about it was but if everyone takes a picture I guess it must be pretty famous or something.

The sly woman of the Lourve.

The final stop of the day, and probably the one with the real WOW factor, was the Eiffel Tower. This is a really weird tourist attraction as it was never meant to be anything more than a monument for the 1889 Universal Exhibition held in Paris. It does not really do anything (other than serve as a point for radio antenna transmission, which is why it was allowed to remain to stand towards end of the 19th century), and has no real history behind it. However, neither Paris not her skyline will be the same without it and it is truely a one of a kind icon. It is said to turn a profit of around 47 million € annually nowadays, after paying the nightly 4,000€ electricity bill for the lights.

The Eiffel Tower, from across the river.

Instead of take the lift straight up to the top for 12 euros, we decided to walk up to the first and second floors (which cost 4 €), and then take the lift from the second floor to the top (costing another 4.20€), as we felt that to get the true Eiffel Tower experience, we will need to climb the tower (and not only because the queue for the lift from the ground floor was insanely long). The tower has a total of 1226 steps from ground to the top, of which a maximum of 668 can be reached by foot till the second floor, from then on you have no choice but to take a lift if you want to go to the top. The views from the third floor landing (tower top) extend for around 42km!

Token view from the first floor landing, with Sacré Cœur at the highest point.

668 steps later, we’re on the second floor landing.

Token second floor landing view of the river Seine.

Insane views from the third floor landing of the city and the Seine.

City planning?

The Arc de Triomphe.

Now just to put things in a bit of perspective about how much you can see from each of the landings, here are three pictures taken of Jardins de Trocadero.

Comparative view from the first floor landing.

Same view from the second floor landing.

Now from the third floor landing.

After that was done with. We decided to head back down and reach our viewing point by 8pm, as once an hour on the hour at night the Eiffel Tower starts to sparkle with white lights, in addition to the orange light it already had on when it becomes dark.

View of the tower from the base at night.

The Eiffel Tower at night.

Disco time!

Paris is often said to be one of the most overrated cities in the world, along with Sydney. Now I am not sure whether that applies for a short visit or long stay/move, but all I can say is that if you are in the city for only a few days, then it is one of the most amazing places to be, and all the attractions you have seen on the tv or movies really do live up to their expectations and hype. The amazing system of metro and train public transport systems, the walk down Champs-Elyssees to the Arc de Triomphe, spending an afternoon in the Lourve, climbing the Eiffel Tower to enjoy its views, and a day at Versailles, all very cliche no doubt, but still an excellent experience!!

Links to today’s pictures here.


One Response

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  1. gel said, on March 14, 2009 at 12:14 am

    you’ve found the painting of the pinching of the nipple i told you about! wahahah.
    hey, the effiel tower’s best pic is taken from palais de chaillot! (i think)

    ehh i took some la, but then again i have no dslr…

    night shot from palais de challiot

    night shot from just under eiffel:

    day shot from palais de chaillot:

    day shot from parc du champs de mars

    day shot from parc du champs de mars

    eh i know it pales in comparison to your photos la.. but i mean, the view taken from these places are great!

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