10.01.2021 – Paris, France (2)

Me and Jim Morrison, six feet under and still rock n’ rollin.

The last time that I was in Paris, France I wanted to visit Jim Morrison’s grave. It was after a wild couple days at Disney Paris. We only had a few hours after touring some of the city, and the cemeteries close after the sun sets. I remember that it had been raining and we also got lost round the city. We found a cemetery that I thought was the right one, but it was closed by the time we got there. And, I found out later that it was the wrong one. Anyway, this time around, I did my research much more thoroughly. On Friday 01 October 2021, I had a $17.96 dollar ticket from Viator for the Paris Père Lachaise Cemetery: Famous Graves of Paris Walking Tour. It didn’t go quite as I foresaw, but it was still pretty awesome.

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I didn’t realize my tour was booked entirely in French, and they did not have audio translation for the tour guide. However, my ticket was still useful either way because, apparently, it was needed to be allowed admittance into the cemetery at all. Once we were a little ways into the cemetery, I took advantage, like many other visitors, that security was stationed at the entrance and went out on my own little impromptu scavenger hunt. I finally, finally (!!) after so many years of fandom got to see Jim Morrison’s tomb. It’s so modest for this worldwide famous rock-star. Honestly! It felt awkward to pose with a cheeky, wide grin. Cemetery and respect and all that. It felt oddly ironic to pose with a happy smile. In the end, I settled for a composed face. Anyway, after getting my fill of this glorious moment, I went out into the rest of the cemetery. It’s truly a must visit place. Gotta say, there are a lot of famous, literary people resting post-mortem at Père Lachaise Cemetery. And, some of them got fancy ass head stones, like Marcel Proust and Oscar Wild. They are seriously out of this world luxurious.

The doors to hell are carved with warnings no one ever reads. “Memoriae Majorum” – The Greatness of Death.

Ever since reading The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice, I have wanted to visit the spooky parts of Paris. This includes some of its cemeteries and the labyrinth of tunnels underneath the city known as The Catacombs. After having the pleasure of touring Paris and visiting Versailles, I decided to book a ticket via Viator to The Catacombs for a surprising $91.34. On Saturday 02 October 2021, I put on some comfortable active clothes, my hiking boots, and packed my emergency gear in my day backpack. It was obvious to me that scouring the underground tunnels of Paris would be no ordinary tour. This was a highly dangerous activity with the potential to get lost or injured or worse. Because I do like to hike and I am very cautious of the dangers, I packed some of my must-have gear: a flashlight, extra water, a compass, rope, metal hooks, extra battery pack, snacks, and whatnot.

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My ticket was a Viator purchase: Skip-the-Line: Paris Catacombs Tour with VIP Access to Restricted Area. My group gathered together slowly just outside the entrance. Our tour guide was really nice, informative, and genuinely friendly. She warned us that the tour would be a few hours long, which totally explained the price tag in the end, and toilets would not be available, so a quick visit to the nearest McDonald for some of us turned out to be a lifesaver! I will flat-out just say it. It was worth every penny on my credit card that I’m still trying to pay. Our tour guide was a true pleasure to surrender leadership to; she was so informative and put all of us at ease. By the end, though most of us hardly spoke to each other, our group was really vibin’ in the gaunt and gory details of the grim and ghastly catacombs. (Edgar Allan Poe echoes anyone…?) My last comment about the Catacombs of Paris is that potential visitors should really watch the film As Above, So Below (2014) beforehand because it really situates the spooky factor.

Me and a potential ancestor who may have died of Lyme Disease or the Bubonic Plague.
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