This morning we grabbed some bread and pastries from a nearby bakery (yum!) and began walking to the entrance to the French catacombs (about a 45 minute walk). We got there about 15 minutes after they opened and already a huge line had formed. We had to wait in line for about 45 minutes but it was totally worth it. The catacombs are abandoned stone quarries converted into an ossuary which now holds the remains of about 6 million Parisians. This came about because the cities cemeteries had become overcrowded. The first solution was the formation of a central mass burial ground. As other churches adopted the idea of mass burial the city became totally saturated with bodies to the point that it was unsanitary and unsafe. Eventually cemeteries within the city limits were condemned and new cemeteries were built on the outskirts of town. The problem of what to do with the bodies was solved when the Police Lieutenant General who had been renovating the quarries had the idea to transfer all of the remains down into the existing quarries. It was incredibly eerie to walk down tunnel after tunnel lined with stacks of carefully stacked femurs, skulls, and tibias. Not to mention the cold, dark, and damp. It took us about an hour and a half to meander through the tunnels and by the end we were happy to see the daylight!
Next, we took the train to the Eiffel tower. We weren’t able to go up to the top as we had planned since it was closed because of the wind, but it was still a great view from the ground.
After, we traveled to the arch du triumphe, which was also pretty magnificent.
We went out for dinner at a French restaurant near our hotel, where the waitress brought both of us something different from what we ordered but it turned out well anyway. Jon ended up with a wonderful 4 cheese salad as well as some clams while I had a vegetable salad. For dessert I had fromage (cheese which basically tasted like yogurt) and Jon had a baked custard dish.
After dinner we walked to the tower Montparnasse, where we ascended 59 floors to get a stunning 360 degree view of the night sky.
We took the Chunnel in the morning to Paris where we made our way to our lodging for the night. After dropping off our bags, we took the underground to Notre Dame Cathedral, which was beautiful! Next, we walked along the Seine River all the way to the Musee d’ Orsay. Here we saw a lot of great paintings. There was a Van Gough exhibit as well as a Toulouse de Lautrec exhibit which were of particular interest. We left and headed back to our hotel to escape the rain.
Getting hungry, we scoped out all the restaurants in the area looking for something affordable as well as either in English or at least something we could deduce what the entrées were. After looking around for over an hour, we finally decided on a place right next to the hotel which had a menu with English translations. I got a fantastic 4 cheese pasta and Jon had a 4 cheese pizza (there were very few vegetarian options at all the restaurants- but plenty of pâté and fois gras). I also had creme brulee for desert (my favorite!). We ended up paying 4 euros for water because we didn’t understand that when asking for water the wait staff will assume that you want bottled water. It would have been trivially more expensive to get wine. Here we also learned that in France you need to request your bill otherwise they will not bring it to you.
After dinner we grabbed some fruit and a bottle of wine from a small shop down the street.
We were served breakfast on the plane a little after midnight our time (roughly 7 am Stockholm time). We had just finished watching The Count of Monte Cristo and hadn’t slept at all yet. We arrived in Stockholm a little later, where we had a 2 hour layover (from 3-5 am our time) before flying to London. The second flight was quick (we slept the whole time) and we arrived in London very punctually. By this time (about 3 pm London time) we were completely exhausted and barely could muster the energy to go out for dinner (fish and chips, of course) before going to bed at 6pm.
The flaw has been fixed, so I’m providing the details: Let’s say I wrote a note on Facebook and included some script in it as a demonstration of coding techniques. One would expect the text to display on the page…
I discovered a persistent XSS vulnerability in Facebook today. In the interest of responsible disclosure I’ll wait until Facebook has a chance to address it before describing it. In the mean time let’s just say you may want to avoid viewing…