Talk About Strange Bedfellows, Where Better Than PARIS?

28 07 2009

en route

“Just Another Day in Paris”
Posted by both kiki and FavD under France, Paris

[Kiki starts]
After a thoroughly enjoyable night with our fellow travelers from around the world, we were rejuvenated in our desire to explore Paris. So we set off this morning after getting our fill of crusty baguettes and confiture at the free breakfast at our hostel. Our first stop was Père Lachaise Cemetery to see all of the incredibly famous people who are buried there.

After walking around aimlessly in the labyrinth of mausoleums and sepulchres that is Père Lachaise we finally decided that a map would be a good idea. We got a free map at an office in the cemetery, helpfully labeled and annotated so that one could find the famous graves.

[Mer taking over]

The graves are many and surprising, so our first move was to make a list of the specific ones we wanted to visit. We made an ambitious list that included, on my end, Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein, and Oscar Wilde, and, as far as Kiki was concerned, Jean de la Fontaine, Edith Piaf, and Fredéric Chopin. Kiki was moved in particular by Piaf’s grave and the many holocaust memorials, and I was thrilled by the tribute paid to Oscar Wilde – fans have taken to adorning his grand headstone with lipstick kisses. It seems to have become something of a tradition.

To continue our dead people tour, we went to Napoléon’s tomb, which is also a war museum. We were impressed by the comprehensive WWI/WWII exhibit, which included an army-issue coat from the WWI still covered in the mud of the trenches.

[Her brother the budding military historian will be thrilled by THAT!]

Napoléon, let me assure you, is resting in style, in a huge, gold-domed building. The inside is no less impressive; everything not made of marble is covered with Sistine Chapel style art, leading to our question of the day: how did they paint the ceilings in Napoléon’s tomb? They were obscenely high.

I’m spending the evening relaxing in the hostel with some ravioli while Kiki meets up with her famed Cousin Vivianne, who lives in Paris. Tomorrow is still up in the air, we may go to Versailles and/or take a catacombs tour.

UNSCHOOLING EUROPE tag

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