Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day of the Dead

Today started out with rain, and lots of it. We knew the good weather couldn't last for the whole trip, but we were getting a bit spoiled yesterday when the temperatures were over 70 degrees.
We started the day with a trip to the Cite De La Musique, a museum that Steve was looking forward to visiting because of their collection of historical instruments among other things.

We got there and found out that the permanent collection was closed for renovations so we could only go to the temporary exhibit on Serges Gainsbourg, a French musician, film maker, and artist. Neither Steve nor I knew who he was, but there were a lot of people in line and we thought we might as well check it out. After about five minutes in the exhibit we realized we were way too American to be there. Gainsbourg was popular during the sixties and his films were all with Bridgette Bardot types but a little too sexual in nature for my taste. It was here that I realized that I really don’t get the French. I only took a few pictures because I don’t think many of them would be Blogger approved. Here are the ones that made it past the censors:

This is a sculpture that rotates with lights so there is a projected "sculpture" on the wall.

After our short visit to the Gainsbourg exhibit we went to check out the Opera and it’s ceiling painted by Chagall. As we almost made it to the front of the line the man selling the tickets put up a sign saying that they were closing due to a rehearsal. So, we were still stuck with nothing to do and a rainy day.
We got some lunch, and the rain died down so we decided to try to go to the Cemeterie Du Pere Lechaise where many famous writers, artists and musicians are buried. I wanted to be sure that we did it on a day that was a bit dreary because I just couldn't imagine walking around a creepy old cemetery on a beautiful, sunny day. It was massive, and we only got to see a few famous graves in the time we spent there, but I took a ton of pictures. Here are just a few:

The cemetery is huge, and lucky for us, has street signs. We had a map so we could make our way through, but it still took over two hours.

Much of the cemetery is made up of these crypts, and each one is like a mini cathedral with stained glass and ornate metalwork on the doors. Some of them even had chairs in them. Why? Can't tell you. Maybe someone can tell me.

One of the most famous graves in the cemetery, Jim Morrison's. It was a bit of a letdown after seeing all the amazing ornate crypts.

They have banned graffiti on Jim Morrison's grave, but someone still left they're mark. It was even more amusing because it was no where near where the actual grave is.

Oscar Wilde's grave was an amazing deco style angel. You are supposed to kiss this headstone for good luck, but it seemed a bit unsanitary to me. I just took this picture instead.

Every minute or so a crow would fly by and caw at us. I think they import them in to add to the creepy ambiance of the cemetery. It works. The black cat that crossed our path as we left the cemetery was very effective too. I should have puckered up at Oscar Wilde's grave to ward off all the bad luck. This was definitely the perfect place to visit the week before Halloween.

On our way to the hotel we saw one of the sure signs you’re in France.

Finally, we went to a contemporary music concert at the National Opera House, which is on the same square as the Bastille monument, and had a crepe with nutella and banana on the way back to the hotel. Even with all the rain and false starts, we felt like we had another memorable (and bizarre) day in Paris.


Christian said...

Wow, what a trip you're having...Oh, the jealousy!!!