Tuesday 10 September 2019

Busy, full day in Paris

This morning we were up early, had breakfast at our hotel and by 9 we were on the metro.  We had tickets for the 10:30 showing of the Van Gogh Luminaries.  Not wanting to be late we had given ourselves ample time.   So of course we were early and had a wander around a couple of small parks in the area. The luminaire show was awe inspiring, a magical show of the works of Vincent Van Gogh projected onto two story high walls in a darkened room. Silence was required while viewing the paintings moving around the walls to fitting music. Most, if not all of his works were projected, hard to find the right words to describe the feelings that were evoked in us all.
We spent about 2 plus hours there.
Leaving the show we bought some water and walked to Pere Lachaise cemetary. The largest in the world. A map is required to navigate your way around. We were interested in the final resting places of Van Morrison, who died in Paris at 27 years of age and Oscar Wild who also died young at age 46.
It took us quite awhile but we eventually found them both. Morrison’s grave has a wire fence around it as many visitors were treating it disrespectfully.....as was the case when we were there! Several youngish girls had climbed inside the enclosure for photos....which were taken by their parents! We found the same at Oscar Wilds grave.  Oscar died a poor man and his gravestone was a simple marker until a wealthy French woman, a patron of the arts paid to have a large sculpture and plaque bearing his name. This sculpture was defaced by females kissing it with red lipstick, so a glass enclosure was placed all around it......females now kiss the glass! A small sign asks that the grave be treated with respect as it is the family of Oscar Wild who pay to have it cleaned. Further on we viewed several memorial tombstones inscribed with a lot of names, though the writing was French we were able to see one was in memory of all who had perished in a DC10 aircraft.  There were a large number of memorials to the Jewish people who had died in the camps, some very graphic sculptures went with these memorials. After spending about 2 hours in the cemetery we took the metro to the Montemarte area stopping for a much needed drink and sandwich. The temperature in Paris today was really warm , 23 degrees! Next on our agenda was a climb up to Sacre Coeur , which is a high point for a view of Paris and a beautiful basicila at the top. We didn’t count the steps but there were well over 100 I’m sure!  We took a few photos with the help of a willing tourist. Coming down from the basicila we found an outdoor cafe/bar for a cold beer. We next took the metro back to the Bastille area to walk the Garden Hi line which is an old rail line turned into a paved garden walk.....very beautiful roses, hibiscus, grasses, some seating along the way, some art murals, a waterway, bamboo tunnel, many young people using it as a jogging track. All this above the streets, below back at ground level, many arty shops, ateliers, and cafes.  We had salad and pizza and more beer! This area is quite close to our hotel so we were walking “home” when we came across a lively Dance class.....stopped to watch for a while. Back at the hotel for bed as we have a full and early  day tomorrow going to Monets home and garden At Giverny.


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