Our last week in Paris was lot of fun, but we rested more than we did last week. We always tell anyone considering our lifestyle not to treat it like it is a vacation, trying to fill every day with tourism, as that just leads to burnout. Even more so – as senior citizens, we just can’t go and go every single day! We went to the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery, which we didn’t know was famous until it was an answer six or seven times on Jeopardy. It is always the question to the answer, “It is where Jim Morrison is buried.” So now we went, we saw, we know it forever. It is the first garden cemetery, opened in 1804. It is not only the largest green space in Paris, it is the most-visited necropolis in the world, with more than 3.5 million annual visitors. Here you will find the graves not only of Jim Morrison, but of Frederic Chopin, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde, and Moliere. The cobblestone streets are all named, with signs to lead the way, and there are 5,000 varieties of trees! It is far more impressive, botanically, than the formal gardens we visited in Paris. We walked around for maybe 2-3 hours, and estimate that we saw perhaps 25 percent of the entire site. It is huge, and the famous reside next door (as it were) to the ordinary citizens.
We also visited the inside of the Palais Garnier, which houses the Paris Opera. What’s interesting is that, unlike tours of most famous buildings, visitors were allowed to roam through the building freely, with no time limits. Consequently, though, there were hordes of people that you had to fight through to see the most interesting places inside. And this is only early June!
Speaking of hordes of people: we bought tickets for the Louvre online, at 17 euros each. We arrived about 20 minutes before our designated time, to find hundreds and hundreds of people in line with the same time as us! The queue stretched forever and wasn’t moving, looking to be about two excruciating hours of standing in line, which is what we thought we were avoiding by buying online. So we decided that our entrance fees were a donation to the Louvre and went walking the streets of Paris instead. (We think we had more fun doing so!)