Jan and Ian

Vive le Metro


One of the wonders of Paris is undoubtedly the Metro, the labyrinth of underground tunnels packed with Parisienne commuters and leg weary tourists. With a day pass in hand we decided to explore far and wide today, far exceeding our usual bipedal limits.
Firstly we paid respectful visits to a few famous, long term, Paris residents at Cemetiere du Pere-Lachaise, final resting place of many historical figures. Apparently the cemetary began far outside the city a two hundred years ago and was not popular due to being remote. Enterprising management solved the problem by disinterring famous figures, such as star crossed lovers Abelard and Heloise and relocating their remains, thus simultaneously creating a tourist attraction and the marketing ploy that still work centuries later.
The most visited grave is rock legend Jim Morrison, singer from the Doors who succumbed to the rock and roll lifestyle in the early 70s and whose simple memorial is a place for fans to re-live the era through a variety antics that have seen the cemetery authorities increase security somewhat. Even so the area is littered with assorted offerings to the rock idol and grafitti covered trees bear hundreds of personal messages and tributes. The late night trysts some fans pursued on the grave apparently are no longer tolerated, however!
Other rituals in the cemetery include flowers and candles for Edith Piaf and lipstick kisses for Oscar Wilde.Back on the Metro to the Pompideau Centre and it’s 20th century art collection. Some wondrous and some incomprehensible pieces. A great collection- one highlight I loved and Jan couldn’t look at, a canvas of brightly colored lines painted as if out of focus- quite brilliant, very dynamic and overpowering. My camera tried in vain for a few seconds to focus before it snapped the photo.On again in the Metro to Montmatre, abuzz with tourists and still hanging on to it’s artistic history and image. Commanding the view is the beautifu white cathedral, possible the most stunning building in Paris. We wandered down the hill to the Moulin Rouge but were more interested in the markets and produce shops where we stocked up for dinner. One final trip on the Metro and we were home.


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