Paris, Day Sixteen: Père Lachaise Cemetery

Marcel Proust's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Marcel Proust’s grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Yeah, you read that title right — another cemetery visit in Paris.

We awoke to another beautiful sunny morning here in Paris. I got up by nine and started doing some computer work. Sue hadn’t slept well at night (too many worries — about what? oh, nothing!) so she slept a bit longer. So I had a coffee and tapped away at my keyboard.

When Sue got up I went to the bakery for a pastry and got some fruit from the little market across the street. Sue doddled around for most of the morning, getting herself all dolled up for the afternoon visit to the most famous cemetery in Paris: the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

After lunch — actually WELL after lunch — we left the apartment and went to the Pigalle metro station. We took the metro nearly to the end of the run. I’d looked up the directions online, so when we got off the train it was just a 5-minute walk down a back alley to the cemetery. Similar to the Montmartre cemetery, but way bigger. And a big hill in the middle. We went in through the entrance and stopped to get a map — oops, NO map available. Oh well, we’ll just look at the big board map at the entrance, note the location of the important (dead) people’s graves we want to see, and then we’ll be off. No, that won’t work. You really need a map for this necropolis!

Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Jim Morrison’s grave.

Well, I know approximately where Jim Morrison’s grave is supposed to be — we’ll just head in that direction and then look for other visitors/tourists and that will lead us to the right spot. That theory actually worked! And there, surrounded by a metal railing to keep fanatics away, with a guard watching fulltime, was Jim Morrison’s grave — sort of tucked in behind the front row of stones. Well, that was exciting! What if I actually like Jim Morrison and the Doors? Wow, then this would be REALLY exciting. Okay, who’s next on the list? Are there any other (dead) singers or poets or writers we’ve heard of?

Oscar Wilde's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Oscar Wilde’s grave.

Yes, there’s Oscar Wilde’s grave. We met a nice Irish man who gave us his map — he just wanted to go visit this grave — so we did too. Looks like a few women (or men?) have given the tombstone a kiss!

Edith Piaf's grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Edith Piaf’s grave.

Not far from Oscar Wilde we found the grave of Edith Piaf.

Frederic Chopin's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Frederic Chopin’s grave.

And then, on the way back out we stopped by Frederic Chopin’s tomb. And as if walking all afternoon in the park-like setting of this huge cemetery wasn’t enough exercise, Sue suggested that we walk back to our apartment! that’s more than 5kms and my feet were already aching.

But I’ve learned another important lesson on this holiday: I used to laugh at how Sue often used (the royal) ‘we’ when referring to an idea that SHE had. But that’s not all there’s to it. It’s become clear to me that when Sue makes a decision or books a social engagement for the two of us, then ‘WE’ talked about it and decided it, whether I was a part of it or not. If everything turns out well at said engagement she will say ‘What a good idea SHE had’ or ‘I’m sure glad I didn’t let YOU nix that idea.’ If said engagement doesn’t turn out so well, it’s MY fault. And don’t even argue about it or dispute it or try rationalizing it in any way — it’s MY fault. Period. It’s a no-win deal for Rudy, no matter how it turns out! That said, today’s little excursion to the cemetery was “a VERY PERFECT thing to do.” Yes it was.

Where's Waldo
Where’s Waldo?

We popped into a few shoe and purse stores on the return hike, but left each store without a bag to carry. Once we got close to home, we stopped at the nearby Carrefour grocery store and walked out with a couple of big bags of groceries. One final stop at the little corner wine shop and then we dragged our tired feet up the flight of stairs to our apartment.

After a well-deserved happy hour Sue sent Rudy out to pick up some supper. I returned from the corner Bistro with a big cheeseburger and some fries. Not so bad with a bottle of wine! And then we watched the sequel to yesterday’s movie (“Before Sunrise”), “Before Sunset”, which was shot here in Paris. We had some ice cream for a snack and went to bed a little after 1 a.m.