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Père Lachaise

November 7, 2014

Monday, our last in Paris, blew in grey and blustery — perfect, in a way, for the excursion I had in mind.  Jama was feeling pretty good about having walked all over the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements, and her vocabulary had more than doubled (she added bonsoir, droigt, and gauche). So now we were ready to tackle the Metro!       Metro

When we disembarked in the 11th arrondissement, the dark clouds were roiling, and strong gusts of wind pushed us the few blocks to Père Lachaise cemetery.  Ravens’ shrill cries ripped the stillness, dry leaves skittered among the graves, and upended flowerpots from All Saints’ Day added to the melancholy.

Père Lachaise 1    Père Lachaise 2    Père Lachaise 3

Seventy thousand ornate mausoleums line up like houses along cobbled streets, their marble and stone absorbing the damp grey of the sky, moss clinging to their roofs.  Sculptures of the deceased or of religious figures, typically in poses of sorrow or despair, mark many of the tombs.  The list of people buried there is a veritable who’s who of the world of the arts: Molière, Rossini, Chopin, Colette, Isadora Duncan, Gertrude Stein, Balzac, Pissaro, Modigliani…the list goes on and on.

Of course, the most famous “resident” is Jim Morrison, legendary lead singer of the Doors, who died in 1971 at the tender age of 27.  Metal stanchions surround his grave, and fans have affixed locks of love in in a sort of shrine.

Jim Morrison         Jim Morrison locks

Back home in St. Germain, this guy was playing his trumpet one-handed as he walked down the street in the drizzle, leaving melancholy notes in the air behind him.

Man with Trumpet

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”  

Gustave Flaubert

From → Women travel

  1. Katherine Matheson permalink

    I’m so proud that you took the metro all on your own! 😉

  2. Had to show off for Jama! And we didn’t even get lost or screw up.

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