Written on September 4th, 2018
Published on October 28th, 2018
The next day (Monday, August 13th) in the morning we all met up at Notre Dame and waited on the long line to get in and see it. It’s another beautiful Church, with amazing stained glass windows.
I was feeling uncharacteristically tired after the walk up the Arc, which, on one hand shouldn’t have been that surprising, we were doing a lot of walking, but it turns out I was getting sick. I’m not sure if it was food poisoning, a virus, or an infection, but I spent the next day and a half sick and in the apartment.
I was finally feeling better on Wednesday, and that morning, we went to the Pantheon. Kelly and I had been there before, but we didn’t realize there is a whole crypt there that you can walk around – with some very famous people buried there! Jean Moulin was a hero in the French Resistance who was killed by Nazis, he lived on our street! Marie Curie is one of the most decorated scientists of all time – she won two Noble prizes (one in Chemistry and one in Physics) and was the leading researcher in radiation. Emile Zola was a famous author, some other famous authors buried there include Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. There are also some famous philosophers (Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) and scientists and mathematicians (Joseph-Louis Lagrange and Paul Langevin).
One particularly interesting find was Louis Braille, who invented braille. His name is reproduced in braille, but it’s clear there have been many people who’ve come here to pay their respects, and to feel his name carved into the stone.
Another interesting thing is that there are still more people being added to the Pantheon. The two most recent people to be added to the Pantheon are Simone and Antoine Veil – Simone Veil born in France, but in 1944, she and her family was taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp (she had completed her bachelors degree the day before she was arrested). Her mother, father, and brother all were killed. After the liberation, she continued her studies in Paris in political science, and eventually became the Minister of Health in France, was elected to the European Parliament where she became the President of the European Parliament, and she later came back to France to serve in various roles helping run the country. She died in July of 2017, and was reburied at the Pantheon this year (with her husband), on July 1st, 2018. They had a special exhibit honoring her and explaining her life outside of the Pantheon.
We then walked around the Latin Quarter and got food at a great Greek restaurant (topped off with a shot of Kreta Raki, a Greek grappa), followed by a walk in the Luxembourg gardens, where we saw people playing Molkky and Petanque (two popular games in Paris).
That night, we had dinner in the Eiffel Tower, at the Jules Verne restaurant. There are elevators in the Eiffel Tower, and they have to go up the tower through the legs, on an angle. Here are some of the pictures, looking up and down the elevator shaft.
The five course meal, with an amazing view of Paris, was incredible. An amazing way to end another great night in Paris, and a great way to celebrate my parent’s anniversary!