Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A rainy day visit to Pere Lachaise Cemetery

The day started early and the rain started even earlier.  I awoke to rain at 5:30 am and it continued for most of the day.   We enjoyed reading our books for the morning and then about noon we dressed warmly and headed for the Metro Station. 

We had carefully mapped out the directions to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the twentieth arrondissment.  It required three Metro changes before we'd arrived in the north east corner of Paris.  This is one of the oldest and definitely the largest cemetery in Paris.  It's twice the size of any of the other major cemeteries in the city.  Usually you can get or sometimes have to buy a paper map of the cemetery from the office to help you find the more famous people who are buried there.  Many of the guidebooks also provide you with information to help you find your way around.

But we arrived in the rain with no map and no guidebooks and the cemetery did not have any maps to give us or even sell to us.  So we stood in the rain writing down numbers of people that we'd like to find on the large map at the entrance.   I took some photos of the map and off we went to see who we could find.  In over an hour we'd only located four:   Heloise and Abelard; Frederic Chopin; the politician Denon from the early 1800's; and Louis David a famous artist from the time of Napoleon Bonapart.     We were soaked and ready to go home, especially since we'd been here before.  Reminder:  Take a map and instructions with you when you plan to visit any of the cemeteries in Paris.  

Back on the Metro for the reverse trip home.  Once in our neighborhood we took time to walk to the restaurant that we are eating at on Friday with friends; there we made our reservation.  La Jacobine Restaurant, a small French place located off of rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts in the Cour du Commerce which is a small covered passage that leads to other shops on a walking street.  Jim found this restaurant last September when we were having dinner with friends from home and we really enjoyed the evening.  He found it in Trip Advisor that places it #120 out of over eleven thousand restaurants in Paris.  And, it's only five minutes walk from our apartment.

We arrived at the apartment just after three o'clock, ate some lunch and spent the afternoon reading and enjoying our day inside while the rain continued.  Jim also planned the route for our trip this evening during this time.  I've basically been doing the Metro Routes so it will be fun to sit back and follow his lead.

About six o'clock we headed over to the Metro Station.   A couple of changes and we were over in the Eiffel Tower area.  Our first stop was to walk down one of our favorite streets:  Rue Cler.  The street made famous by Rick Steves Tours and is a great place to stay in Paris.  Full of shops and vendors providing a market every day.  Many good restaurants and an easy walk to the Eiffel Tower and other sites in the western part of the sixth and all of the seventh arrondissments.  They still had their Christmas lights on in this area and it was fun to see what they had strung across the street.

From there we found our way to rue Saint-Dominique and a Chinese Restaurant called Saveurs D'Asie.  We'd eaten here in 2012 after meeting the son of the owners; he was the one who helped us connect with our computers in the MacDonalds when we were in an apartment with no Internet.  The son is currently studying in Germany but the food had been so good we decided to go for a meal.  Since we leave in a couple of days we've been cleaning out the refrigerator and will probably eat the rest of our dinners in restaurants. 

Jim enjoyed canard and rice while I had caramelized chicken and rice.    The rain was pouring all the way there but it was a great meal and when we finished we sloshed through the puddles over to the Eiffel Tower for one last look at the strobe lights at the eight o'clock show. 

Back to the Metro and home again.  Jim did a great job with the Metro Trains tonight; it was nice to just follow along and not think about where we were going.   My shoes were swimming by the time we arrived home.  I've developed a crack in the sole I think and they are no longer water tight.  These shoes will stay in Paris when I leave!  

Hope you enjoy the slideshow:  

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