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Paris, Day 2

Day 2 dawned grey and chilly, but dry. As May 1st is a public holiday in France, none of the shops or museums were open, so we'd decided on a leisurely morning of wandering around Père Lachaise cemetery, followed by a leisurely afternoon in the Bois de Vincennes, which we knew houses a botanical garden and a zoo.

Because of Labour Day, we couldn't get a map of where to find all the graves of famous people, and there weren't any crowds to follow, so we just took a left here and a right there, and found both Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison's graves quite by accident.

I quite like these ceramic wreaths adorning some of the graves

Two men fell to their deaths from a height of 8600 metres when their hot air balloon crashed in 1875.

Just a typical Père Lachaise stairway

several fans had gathered round Edith Piaf's grave

And all of a sudden, there were masses of people! Singing The International, too, so it must have been something to do with Labour Day, though we couldn't find out what exactly. Perhaps some important Communists are buried there? They were in the 'Victims of Nazi atrocities'-section.

I had imagined Jim Morrison's final resting place to be thronging with people. But although the flowers were fresh, we were the only ones there

We went on to the Bois de Vincennes after lunch, but we didn't stay there for very long, as a creepy man followed us all about. We probably could have dealt with him if he'd tried anything funny, if my sister hadn't chosen that time to start regaling us to stories of women having been murdered and in one case partially eaten, then buried in the Bois de Boulogne some years ago. My niece and I decided caution is the better part of valour, and beat a hasty retreat back to Vincennes and the nearest patisserie.

Back at the hotel, we dined on strawberries that we'd bought at a local market; and then went back out again to take in the view of Paris by night from the top of Tour Montparnasse.

Paris sunset

The Eiffel tower as seen from Tour Montparnasse




May. 6th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
Paris! *sigh*

I went to Pere Lachaise once - we were a bit shocked at how far it was from the Metro, and also found Heloise and Abelard totally randomly too! :)
May. 6th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
Far from the Metro? We got off the Ligne 2 at Père Lachaise and only had to cross the road to get to the cemetery; but it has entrances/exits all over so I guess you were just unlucky not to have encountered one sooner.

I missed Héloïse & Abélard's monument...and Oscar Wilde's tomb. We looked for Chopin but couldn't find him...who else is there? Loads of people, according to Wikipedia. I'll have to go back there again one day, see if I can find them.

We did stumble upon what apparently is the most visited grave in the cemetery -- that of someone by the name of Allan Kardec. Romeo called it the Fred Flintsone grave, and if you've seen it, you'll know why.