Thursday, February 19

"and have you seen our mummified cats?"

on wednesday, i drug TEB to pigalle for a view of the moulin rouge and the amusements (i.e. SEX SHOPS) of pigalley. in the daytime, it's just *not* the same. the weather was slightly nippy, but wasn't bitter. it hadn't started raining, so we walked down the three blocks to sacre coeur, climbed the hill and toured it (the big white church in amèlie.) (did you know that you can "mount" (climb) the dome? i didn't - it wasn't until yesterday that i saw some bodies moving at the top of the dome that i even REALLY thought about it. i mean, i HAVE been to/seen/visited/toured sacre coeur myriad times, but i don't remember having seen the crypt (no dead bodies, that is the catacombs), and i have never climbed (step by step by step by step) to the top of it.)

short(er) version of the story is - if you go to the left side of the church as you are facing it, you can find the way to climb to the top (5€). we wandered around montmarte (the area) and saw the lapin agile (former gangster place, now caberet and more famous due to steve martin's play "picasso at the lapin agile), the maison rose (now a restaurant), and the famous corner where my sister once almost ripped my arm off because we saw val kilmer.


unfornuately, my camera wasn't working. it said "CHANGE THE BATTERIES". which i did - but as we didn't wish to return to the homestead to pick some up - and only needed enough of a chanrge for an hour or two - we bought cheap ones (TEB needed some too), but they must have been REALLY HORRIBLE BATTERIES (i'm hoping) because *MY* camera STILL wouldn't work. (and if i DON'T have my digital for italy, i'm going to be one Very Unhappy Camper!)

after a sugar crepe (which was probably the worst crepe i've had in paris) we headed to the louvre, where we had a cafè (in my case), and a peach ice tea (in teb's case) - and waited until 6pm, when we could both get in for free. grâce à my "carte jeune" for the louvre, we entered the louvre at exactly that hour and followed (for the most part) tour of the louvre as laid out in MONA WINKS. (which has a picture of mona on the cover, appropriately winking. it also has tours for several other paris museums as well as rome, florence, london, madrid and a few other european musuems).

we first entered the DENON wing (as anyone who has visited said museum, or read dan brown's THE DA VINCI CODE will know), containing, amongst myriad other things - the MONA LISA (la jaconde), the VENUS DE MILO (which is a greek original rather than a copy or a roman copy. TEB remarked that she should rather be named "aphrodite"), and the winged victory (which is victoire de samothrace). as she is a big fan of anthropology - she was very interested in seeing the egyptian artifacts - so we mosied through the sully wing - we saw rows and rows of "De(a)d People Boxes", and saw portions of the book of the dead (which i hadn't realized is seems to be partly what YOU are supposed to do after your dead - or "they" are supposed to do for you after you're dead), and then stumbled across a "momie" or two. we took a turn, starting walking down another corridor and discovered dead cat boxes, and dead falcon boxes, and ..... WHAT?! mummified cats and falcons and....COW HEADS?! um. yeah...forgotten those egyptian folk did that.

continuing on our way, we were "accosted" by one of the museum docents (who was a dark middle-aged man, whose first language was not french NOR english) who snatched the guide book from erica's hand as she passed by and proceeded in telling us that the picture of the mona lisa on the cover was NOT the "REAL" la jocande, as the real la jocande was smiling, and the one on our book was not - it was merely the "mona lisa"...or something like that. we aren't really sure WHAT he was saying. anyway, we were highly amused, attempting to continue on our way, he THEN took the beckster's copy of the LOU-VER map and pointed out some areas saying, "have you seen the momies" (he'd switched to french.) this was ALSO highly amusing, as he was addressing T.E.B., who, if you don't know, doesn't speak french. (actually, this became even MORE amusing, because several times throughout the day, people were speaking to her completely in french, and she couldn't understand one single word, even though these people continued addressing her in french, even after i told them, in french, that she didn't speak any.) we assured him that we had, indeed, viewed the momies, and the dead people boxes and THEN he said,

"and have you seen our mummified cats?"

which we had JUST viewed, and told him, "yes, we have seen the mummified cats." then he points out another room on the map, and tells us that the grandson of cleopatra is in this other room and that he's not wrapped up in linen as the other momies are, he's got a "naked torso" and you can actually see the 'MOMIE', not just a wrapped up body. of course, he's prattling on in french, we are obviously a bit confused as this guy is STILL talking (MUCH to the amusement of his fellow docent) and we graciously take our leave, and decide to try and find said 'momie's' naked torso.

we did.

then wandered around a few rooms in another area i don't recall traversing through before, then headed out for a sushi dinner and then had a kir at a little café cross the way, then headed home and got to bed FAR TOO LATE.