Second honeymoon. In Paris.

Honeymoon!

The height of romantic dedication, a celebration of the joining of two souls together, a mark of the glorious beginning of two lives becoming one. And where more romantic to have a honeymoon than Paris?

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City of lights! Romance! J’adore!

Wait, what?  No, not MY honeymoon.  Silly, I didn’t get married on this trip.

Now, to be fair: I had a honeymoon once. I remember it fondly. But it wasn’t in Paris, it was in Ocean Shores, Washington. So when I got an invite to meet up with my friends Vegas and Microbe in Paris to help them kick off their honeymoon, I knew I had to postpone Prague for a couple days to help them do so properly.

So: back to Paris I went.

The first night did not disappoint. We met at Notre Dame at night.

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Impressive at night. And, honestly, completely crawling with rats.

We had fondue on a small cobblestone street. We sipped lovely red wine from a quaint table while Microbe and I fumbled through what little high school French each of us could dredge up.

Then the night started to slide as we ended up having drinks at this place:

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This picture left intentionally blurry as we didn’t want to sit through the uncomfortableness of a second picture.

So, this was basically a themed bar that had hundreds of bras hanging from a chandelier outside, and on the inside all the waiters walked around in short black undies. We soon discovered that everyone else there was female, dressed up and having a grand old time dancing with the waiters. Drinks were tremendously expensive and light on booze. I think someone in France has found a golden formula for attracting women, and once men discover this, will appear here in droves, even if they have to deal with scantily-clad waiters.

The following day was more predictably touristy.  We agreed to meet up in Montmartre to see Sacre Cour and the Montmartre neighborhood.

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Even the subway stops are artistic and cool.
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Dude cooking corn in a shopping cart. Strangely a very common scene on the streets.

Once we met up, we braved the shops leading up to the Basilica. One chocolate shop proved too much to pass up.

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Sugar sugar sugar
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Tiny, dainty, macaroons. Basically bite-sized evil.

Eventually we made our way up though.

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Coming up from Montmarte

We went to Sacre Cour and got molested by guys trying to either sell us string wrist bands or steal stuff from us, not sure which.  But they were quite aggressive and attacked as a pack.  We escaped intact, however, and took in the sights:

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Seriously, Paris is simply bursting at the seams with these impressive buildings.
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Sacre Cour!
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View from the top. Paris threatens to rain on our parade. Or honeymoon. Whichever.
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Poor guy got tired of endlessly spitting water from his face. He’s on strike, now.

We wandered around Montmartre afterwards and took in lots of artistic displays and picturesque winding alleys with old stone buildings decorated with wrought iron railings and flowers spilling out of windows. Eventually the rain set in and we hid in a café to have a drink.

When the rain let up we got to see the Moulin Rouge.

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Little known fact: Moulin Rouge was the first DVD I ever bought.

And at night we had a stellar three hour meal at the famous Buddha Bar. Fabulous day.

The third day it was time for me to leave them, but first I demanded we go see a few hundred thousand dead people. Microbe was all about it. Vegas is usually up for anything, so the three of us got up far too early to wait in line at the Paris catacombs.

For those of you who don’t know: the cliff notes version is that there was a lot of mining for limestone under Paris a long time ago. This created a network of tunnels. Then that market dried up or shut down, and some officials decided to move all the dead bodies that were taking up precious real-estate up top, down into the catacombs. Then tourists wanted to see the dead bodies (’cause why wouldn’t you?). Now we have a brisk tourist business involving a large number of dead people.

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‘well this looks nice and cheerful. What could possibly go wrong?
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Stop, this is the empire of the dead. Sounds promising.
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Foot bath of the workers.
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One of the workers / captives carved this from memory.
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Seriously: carved from memory. I’m impressed when I can remember to put pants on.
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Bones as far as the eye can see. Which, with the darkness, isn’t actually all that far.
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More bones. It just never ends.
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Yep, bones.
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Artistically arranged bones.

The catacombs is a pretty stark reminder that we are all just a pile of calcium and meat, in the end. And on that happy note, I left for Prague. But not without taking one more shot of some awesome street art:

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More awesome street art.

Adeui, Paris! Next: Prague

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