Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Night In Uxbridge

I haven't left the flat for two days, trying to recover from a nasty cold in time for the Paris trip on Thursday. Feeling much better, Robin, Maria, and I walked to Uxbridge town centre and met Wally (coming back from spending the day at the Brunel campus) at the Metropolitan for dinner. A special 2-for-1 deal, £6.45.

A visitor popped in for a tuna fish snack just before we left.

Wally and Marie walk hand in hand down as side street... or has she been abducted by an ET alien?! 

Trains arriving and departing Uxbridge Station, through guard rails at street level.

Uxbridge Station from a sidewalk/street overpass. 

Wally and Robin dash across the street. Still haven't gotten used to traffic coming from the opposite direction. No problem for Robin though, with those snazzy high-top tennis shoes.

Paris Countdown

In preparation for our side trip to Paris, I've been researching various sights and museums that we want to see. In addition to the Crazy Horse show and dinner, and the Cézanne exhibit at the Musée du Luxombourg, I've penciled in a tour of the Paris catacombs, the Paris sewer (sure to be a gut-wrenching experience), the Musée d'orsay (formerly a train station), Musée du Montmartre, Musée Rodin, Cafe Procope (former clientele: Victor Hugo, Napolean, Benjamin Franklin), the Apple Store next to the Louvre, and if time permits, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and who knows what else.

I really doubt this trip can compete with the trip to Murphys in Killarney, Ireland next month, but I'll be open minded about it.

Speaking of catacombs, the catacombs under Paris are part of an extensive system of tunnels that had been used as stone quarries for centuries. In the late 1700s, cemeteries became so crowded and unsanitary that the government condemned many of the inner city graveyards, dug up the graves and moved the bones to a section of the quarries, now known as the catacombs. The remains of about 6 million people are there.

Beyond the catacombs, the underground tunnels cover vast areas. Only certain parts are open to visitors, although some people, called cataphiles, explore the underground world on their own, illegally. More on that later.

A wall of human bones in the catacombs.