Wednesday, 2 February 2011

catacombs de paris

Went to Paris for a few days. Had a lovely time...

Thousands of tourists visit the Paris catacombs every year (even in January), entering a subterranean empire of the dead with bones and skulls piled high along dark, damp tunnels. It's all the more eerie for knowing that what you see is only a tiny part of a largely closed off labyrinth of nearly 200 miles, and that the mass graves moved here from 1785 were already up to 10 centuries old. I watched a father encourage his son to pick up a skull for a snapshot, posed Hamlet-style, and waited at the exit while my bag was checked - visitors sometimes like to take a bone or skull home as a memento. At the shop opposite,  the souvenir range stops short of glow in the dark skull lanterns, but they do have chewy skull sweets.

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