5.27.14 - Last day of our first leg in Paris before our flight to Florence. There so much to do in Paris and we managed to squeeze in one more must see, the Catacombs underneath the city of Paris also known as the boneyard. The line for the tour was very long by the time we got there around 11am because only 160 people can be down there at a time. We waited for 2.5 hours, thank goodness it wasn't raining. Once inside, you have to go downstairs, roughly 100 steps and it has an eerily feel. Slightly damp and with the audio tour playing grim music, it was pretty freaky. About mid way through you'll see the bones of the dead from hundreds of years ago. All the bones are stacked, the top ones are loose and you could probably pick them up, some stacked in designs decorated with the skulls. There's something humbling about seeing all these bones since these were once living beings and I found it uncomfortable that they weren't tucked and buried away. Apparently, the city ran out of places to bury the dead back when war, famish, and diseases were a main cause in deaths, so they moved all the bones to the unused quarries under the city. Not a good place to visit for the claustrophobic but if you can, I would recommend it. It's a good contrast to all the romanticized part of Paris that I enjoyed very much, almost like a secret of the city.
More info on the Catacombs