Pere Lachaise and more, more, more…

Who knew a cemetery could be so fantastic!  Pere Lachaise, at over 100 acres, is the largest green space in Paris, and it is lovely.  Filled with beautiful tombs and fascinating stories.  We had an amazing guide from Britain who does walking tours of Paris, and what a difference he made!  I am astonished by his mind – absolutely filled with knowledge to share.  He toured us all around and we saw lots of famous graves, plus statues and stories galore.

Lovely little owls guard this tomb.

Nobody famous, just a rich ballonist - phantasmagorical!

Chopin's grave, appropriately decorated for his bicentennial.

Hey, man! It's Jim Morrison's grave! Wish I could have gotten a good enough angle to photo the 2 teens lighting up behind the stone.

Red metal door to this tomb. Most of the tombs look like London phone booths, with little alters inside.

My favorite part of the morning? When this black cat stood guard in front of Marcel Proust's tomb! Just sauntered around the grave as if he owned the place, which, he probably does!

Oh Oscar Wilde! So many kisses, you lucky man!

Stones for Gertrude.

Broken glass.

Hey kids! You can thank this man for your french fries! He introduced the potato to France!

After our romp around the graveyard, we found a little grocery, bought cheese, bread and chocolate, and went back to the cemetery to eat our lunch out of the wind, in the sun.  I had brought my rice crackers along, and we had a lovely rest.  Then, on to the Musee d’Orsay.

the Musee d'Orsay. A gorgeous old train station, refurbished by Mitterand, now housing the impressionist painters. It's astounding - ever time you turn a corner there's another Mary Cassatt or Van Gogh or Renoir.

After a brief recoup at the hotel, we hit the town at night.  The students all wanted to shop, and the rest of us just wanted to people watch.  I think this was the coldest night we’ve had yet.  One block away from Chanel (which is the only fashion house I wanted to see here, where it all started! I really wanted a picture of that store front), the kids pooped out, and would go no farther.  Alas, I didn’t get to Mecca, but I did just find out that there is an YSL retrospective in town, which I will try to get to tomorrow.  It was too cold for many photos this evening, but here’s a taste, then off to bed for me.

L'Arc de Triomphe at night.

Our freezing cold group.

Window display on the Champs Elysse. It's Naf Naf, my old favorite french brand from the 80s, all moderned up.

Must get up early to beat the crowds to Versailles!  I’ll say hello to Marie Antoinette for you……


3 Responses to “Pere Lachaise and more, more, more…”

  1. 1 Richard Tulloch March 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks for this post. We also loved Pere Lachaise, and spent the rest of our week in Paris looking for other famous dead people!

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