day 24 - day of the dead, last night in paris

Today was the day of the dead.

We went to the catacombs in Paris along with Pere Lachaise.
The catacombs were abandoned quarries that were turned into the tombs they are now and they are crazy intriguing. Right before you enter where the tombs really begins, there's a sign that says, "Arret! C'est ici l'empire de la Mort" (Stop! This is the Empire of the Dead). I'm not gonna lie, it was a little creepy to have that be the welcoming sign. And when you walk in, it's surreal. You're walking through tunnels that are lined with skulls and bones. Thousands and thousands of skulls and bones decoratively lining the walls. It made me a little sad because of all the bodies that no longer had identities. No names. No one to remember them. And there are literally millions and millions of bones. The catacombs go for miles all under the city of Paris. It's very mysterious, eerie and intriguing all at once.

After we went to Pere Lachaise. Pere Lachaise is a famous cemetery in Paris, one of the worlds most visited cemeteries, too. It has many famous people buried there from artists to musicians to scientists. And it's beautiful there. The headstones and sepulchers are amazing. I found the ones that were abandoned the most interesting. I kept wondering why and when were their grave sites forgotten? What is their story? How did they end up in the Pere Lachaise? It actually gave me a huge desire to do family history work, I don't like the idea of people being forgotten.

When we got home, we decided to spend our last night in Paris at the Eiffel tower. A big group of us took the metro over to the tower and we bought tickets to climb to the top. We walked the stairs the first two flights (all this walking has been doing me good! I'm staying in pretty good shape :P ) and then took the elevator up the rest of the way to the top. The view is amazing. Oh my goodness. We went right after sunset, too, so the lights were bright but the sky still had some light in it. It was magical. I loved it so much.
We also were kinda bad and broke the rules a little bit....
We all wrote love notes on a piece of paper and Clark folded it up into an airplane to throw off the tower. We all imagined that it would float off in the air and romantically glide it's way down to the bottom of the tower to fall into the arms of some individual in need. Once we had our cameras ready to document this epic event, Clark threw the airplane threw the grate and into the air. Off it flew, triumphantly soaring into the night sky... until it took a sharp turn and b lined it straight into the tower floor just a few feet underneath us.
Epic fail.
It was so anti climatic that it was hysterical and we could not stop laughing. So funny. I'm glad I got it all on video :)
As we were heading down the stairs of the tower, I ran into a friend from high school. What the what? How crazy is that? Who just runs into random friends in Europe? Apparently me. Because I've done it twice.
Once we got down, we bought delicious crepes (and chef Rick can attest to how amazing they were) and ate them at the base. It was so great to hang out with friends and enjoy the tower at night with good food.

It was a wonderful last night in Paris I would say :)

(Photo 1: long exposure in the catacombs to get a ghostly look. Photo 2 (left) Clark in the catacombs. Photo 3 (right): stained glass threw a cross on one of the sepulchers. Photo 4 (left): Pere Lachaise. Photo 5 (right): me wearing Kelsey's sunglasses. Photo 6: The view from the Eiffel Tower.)

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