Day Six: Pere Lachaise
Jan. 5 2011
It was actually sunny today so Dad thought it would be a good day to visit the cemetery. I had to visit Oscar Wilde at some point while I was in Paris and Mom had asked me to pay her respects to Jim Morrison. So we took Le Metro to Pere Lachaise.
The Metro is kinda cool because it runs on rubber tires so it's quieter and bouncier than BART. There are also more trains so you don't have to wait very long. There used to be first class seating on the train but now it's like any other public transit--everbody climbs aboard and holds on to something. One thing's for sure though, the beggars in the Paris metro are very persistent and are willing to risk bodily injury for a couple euro. We saw one guy hang onto the outside of the train as it was leaving just so he could get a euro from someone inside. Crazy!
Anywho, we finally arrived at Pere Lachaise several stops later and walked right into the cemetery without stopping at the entrance to get a map. Bad move. We then got lost looking for Jim Morrison's grave. How could we get lost in a cemetery, you may ask? Just look at this place.
Now this is what you call a necropolis
I did manage to get some rather nice pictures along the way though.
It's all very pretty actually, in a gothic kind of way
Oh, and apparently Pere Lachaise is guarded by cats.
Hey, Cat! Do you know where Jim Morrison is?
Laissez-moi! Fucking tourists...
I think we walked all the way around to the other side of the cemetery before we finally found another map. I took a picture of it this time, goddammit. We went back to where we started and tried again.
Dad started making remarks about tying party balloons to the gravestone so other poor travelers wouldn't get lost like we did. We paid closer attention to the street signs this time and found this clue written on a nearby bench.
We found the plot where Morrison was buried and did a circle around it before we realized he must be somewhere in the middle. So we walked carefully between the graves until we found a small flock of groupies clustered around what had to be Morrison's grave. Turned out it was.
Huh...I don't know about you guys, but I'm not that impressed. Dad though, did not pass up his chance to lean over the railing (did I mention that there was a railing? There was a railing) and put in his two cents. "Just for the record, you weren't that good." He then added, "You were good, but not Pere Lachaise good."
There was also this nearby tree that everyone wrote on. You can see some of the railing behind it.
And now you will all have that song stuck in your head. You're welcome
After successfully locating Jim Morrison (finally) we set off to find Oscar Wilde. I'm an English/History major, you see, so I was kind of obligated to stop by. I'm pretty sure it's a rule.
On the way there we ran into Marcel Marceau's grave--zee famous French mime. Dad and I stared at it for a minute until Dad leaned over and said, "Best 'man trapped in a box' evar." Yes, it's true. My father has no respect for the dead.
So we kept on heading in the direction of Oscar Wilde's grave. This time we looked at the map and actually made it to the general area where Oscar was supposed to be...and then got lost.
I think I got the number wrong and we kept wandering around a huge plot with much more recent graves until Dad finally said, "Hey, let's look over there where all the old stuff is." The next plot over looked a lot more aged and it wasn't long before we found another small group of people clustered around what I recognized as Oscar Wilde's grave. At least this time we were in the right area and I actually knew what the gravestone looked like beforehand.
So without any further ado, allow me to present the man himself, Oscar Wilde! Wait...what's all that stuff on his headstone?
Kindly ignore the small child
Oh my god, that's a lot of smoochies o.o Had I know I would have brought my lipstick. How many of those do you think are women anyway?
So, with my quest now fulfilled, Dad and I got back on the Metro and took the train up to Montmartre so Dad could walk through hippie land. You have to remember that Montmartre at the height of the Bohemian era was basically the first hippie commune. Let the good times roll, baby.
We went to this tiny museum that had a lot of Toulouse Lautrec stuff and Bohemian memorabilia.
And a shot of Timmy outside the museum with Dad in the background
I bought more souvenirs while we were there. Though try as I might, I could not find a shirt that said, "I froze my ass off in Montmartre and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"