Dry Bone Valley

After a sleepless night on Monday I expected to fall asleep immediately but unfortunately this was not the case. I ended up having a very restless night. To rectify this, I got up and had a healthy breakfast of fruit and made a plan for the day.

With a couple of guys from the hostel, we set off to get the 1pm walking tour from the Fontaine Saint-Michel. If this wasn’t so far away from the hostel, we probably could’ve made the 11am one but the fountain is a good 45 minutes walk away. The tour guide didn’t take us very far from the main starting point but we learnt about the Coronation of Napoleon and the painting that followed; we were told about the Pont Neuf, and the statue of King Henry IV, his assassin, François Ravaillac, and the torture following the kings death.

We were next lead to the Louvre where we were taught about the Royal Step, a ballet move Louis XIV came up with as he couldn’t do one particular move, and his whole portrayal as the Sun King. We were also told about the French Revolution and French Resistance and subsequently the burning of Paris during WWII.

After this we went back to Notre Dame as there was a crypt underneath that housed the original foundations of the church. Usually this is supposed to be €8 but we somehow ended up following a tour group in and got free entry.

Earlier in the day we had purchased tickets to the Catacombs from our hostel and told that we would just need to show them the ticket and we would get straight in.We asked one guard who told us we had to wait in the line that circled around the street so instead we asked the other guard, who let us straight in! The Catacombs were exactly as I had expected; dark, dingy, and a little haunting. The story behind it is that the cemeteries were getting too full so after a while they dug everything up and piled the bodies up. Years later, French authorities paved a way through the bodies and created the tombs we see today.

Having walked for what felt like miles, plus another 2km through the tunnels we decided to call it a day and make our way back to the hostel. This involved getting on the Metro which seemed to be quite complicated as one member of my group, was insistent on taking a different station than the one we bought tickets from. Madness if you ask me, but we made it out the other end, so it’s all good.

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