Jane and I are off to explore Pere Lachaise cemetery, where several famous people are buried. I've heard many stories of people becoming lost amongst the tombstones. In my head, I picture a typical graveyard, orderly plots, row on row, as it were. I can't imagine how someone could get disoriented in a cemetery.
|... and then I walked inside.|
As we make our way toward the grave of Jim Morrison, I quickly realize how easy it is to get lost. Following the cobblestone streets between towering tombs is like walking through a city of the dead.
|but the neighbours are really quiet.|
Over 1 million bodies are buried in the 110 acre cemetery, among them, Oscar Wilde, Georges Bizet, and Frederic Chopin. Many of the tombs are several feet high and merge together like a wall. Spray painted across the tombs are directions to the cemetery's most popular resident.
|the directions are thoughtful, but the method is in poor taste.|
When we finally find the grave of Jim Morrison, it is surrounded by a small crowd of people singing songs by The Doors and playing guitars, others light candles and the smell of pot is thick in the air. Jane and I make ourselves comfortable on a nearby stone and share some of the wine we brought with us.
|music and munchies|
We continue to walk along the paths between the tombs and found the resting place of Oscar Wilde. It is tradition to mark the monument over his grave with a red lip print. His tomb is covered in kisses.
We also found the graves of Chopin, and a small gravestone with the name Bugatti. It's a bit of a mystery which of the famous performance car designer family is buried here, as Ettore and his son Jean are both interred in Alsace.
After several hours of exploring, Jane and I come to the unanimous conclusion that we are hopelessly lost. Approaching us is a small group of older women, one of which has a map. In my best french, I approach her and announce, "J'ai perdu."
In french, I understand her response as, "You poor girl," and she does her best to show me where we are and how to get to the entrance.
Jane and I make our way back to our hotel and enjoy the rest of our wine. I have rigged the luggage rack to support a can of beans that Jane is heating up over a candle.
• ¤ •
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."