12 September 2012

Under Paris, over Paris

I would never have thought that a cemetery would be something to put on a travel itinerary, but there you have it: lots of famous people lived and died in Paris. Thank goodness for friends who plan my sightseeing endeavours.

Our hostel was quite close to the Père Lachaise Cemetery, so that's where we started our first morning in the city. You could probably spend all day looking for your favourite deceased statesman, writer, philosopher or artist, but we opted to focus on finding Oscar Wilde's grave. Notable ones spotted along the way included those of Rossini, Delacroix, and Géricault.

Before lunch we popped by the Notre Dame again to take a look at the inside. The treasury had some cool and some weird things. The cathedral as a whole had lots of noisy tourists.

A lunch of buckwheat crêpes was served in a café nearby. It's always amazing to see what nice places people manage to run with just one of them in the kitchen and the other serving customers.

With our bodies refuelled, we took to the streets with the mission of covering pretty much every major tourist landmark. The other two, having both been to Paris before, led the way. We started outside the Louvre, made our way through the Tuileries Garden, past the Place de la Concorde and its Luxor Obelisk, up the Champs-Élysées and to the Arc de Triomphe.

Next, we had to meet up with some friends at—yes of course—the Eiffel Tower...

After some compulsory touristy pictures we arranged to meet up again later, and then the three of us made our way to the Montparnasse Tower. If you don't have your heart set on going up the Eiffel, this is the place to get your Paris view on. I mean, were there even five people in the ticket queue in front of us? Their website has a fancy intro thing showing how the tower is located across from the Eiffel.

That's about it! We wanted to have our supermarket dinner in the Luxembourg Gardens, but those nutters with their whistles chase everyone out long before the summer sun goes down. We ended up having our picnic on a regular streetside bench. We did better the next day.

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