Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gadding About at the World's Most Famous Cemetery

Jim Morrison's grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. 
On our last day in Paris, passengers on the Viking Tour were visiting either the Palace of Versailles or Montmartre both of which Virginia and I had seen on previous trips to Paris, so we decided to spent Sunday afternoon on our own and do something we had not done.  My son Patrick had suggested that I try to visit the grave of Jim Morrison and neither of us had been to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  Pere Lachaise is the most famous cemetery in the world and there are a lot of famous people buried there.  So we headed out.

I called up Uber for a ride out to the cemetery which is on the east side of Paris, quite a way from our hotel.  We were let out at the main gate and the guards there told us it would be a 20 minute walk in and 20 minute walk out if we wanted to see Jim Morrison's grave.  We set out, Virginia pushing her walker over cobblestone paths.  We had no map, but as we would meet people we would ask "Where's Jim Morrison's grave?" and they would point in a northerly direction toward the other end of the cemetery.
Because of all the trees, there were beautiful shadows and light interspersed among the graves. 
After about two hours of walking (we were going at a pretty slow pace and actually stopped periodically to rest on benches) we found the grave site.  There were a number of folks visiting it.  I believe it is the most visited grave in the cemetery where there are many famous people buried including Proust, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and others.  
Chopin's grave. 
Fortunately we did not have to walk back the way we entered.  After finding the grave we were very near the back entrance to the cemetery and it was a short walk out where we hailed another Uber and made our way back to our hotel.  Our trek was quite strenuous, especially for my friend Virginia who is 86 and who was pushing her walker over the cobblestones the whole way.  If we had only known we could have asked to be taken to the back entrance to the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  Oh well, we made it.

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