Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Search For The DaVinci Code Grail - Part 2
This is Part 2 of our story of unwittingly following the trail taken in Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code. Either we were fated to follow in his footsteps or he was working from the same tour books we had. Click here for Part 1. All hyperlinks are to additional pictures from the trip.
After two days in Paris we still had not found any clues to lead us to the Holy Grail. It was a long shot but our next location was at the Pompideau Center, which is France’s premiere modern art museum. The building itself is built inside-out. All the structure, air conditioning, escalators, and other services are on the outside of the building. From the roof, you could even see the Eiffel Tower. Inside we first found a Duchamp Urinal, but even that seemed to be too sacrilegious to count as a grail. Then we found a clue on one of the walls.
The Fibonacci Alligator is a piece of artwork that is a stuffed alligator with a series of neon letters that are in the Fibonacci sequence. We knew this was an important clue but we didn’t know what it would lead us to. Just outside the museum there is a fountain with a group of odd water feature sculptures. We took this as direction to head back to the water.
On the Isle de Cite is the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Here we found the Point Zero which is the center of Paris. We thoroughly searched the cathedral for clues inside and out. We looked around the front, the side, and the back to no avail.
From there, we crossed over to the Left Bank and visited Shakespeare and Company, the English language bookstore featured in Before Sunset, but that is a different movie tour. From there, we found some kind Parisians to take our picture from one of the many bridges over the Seine.
We did run across those so cute Smart Cars. My son wants one. They would be perfect for making a getaway in the crowded Paris streets if necessary. These things were everywhere and could park in places unimaginable for any other vehicle.
Since Paris was not turning up any clues, we decided to search further away. We knew there were grail experts living in the French countryside, but the only “chateau” we had heard of was in Versailles. Some guy named Louis used to live there, but he couldn’t have been very famous since thirteen other guys beat him to the name.
This chateau was big. Huge in fact. We carefully combed the all the places in the house we were allowed to go. We even looked in Louis’s bedroom and his private chapel. We only had time to go on one of the four tours the palace offers, because we wanted time to explore the grounds as well. Since it was winter, the fountains were off, but we walked far enough away to need to take the tram back.
Returning to Paris after a full day, we transferred by the Metro over to the Arc de Triumph where we went to the top and checked out the Champ Elysses from the other end. Exhausted, we returned to HQ via the Eiffel Tower realizing that Paris was turning out to be a dead end.
Next: Off to London