On the road-Dijon, FR

Base camp Dijon, FR Sept.14

We’re back in Dijon, a city renowned for its mustard and the former seat of the dukes of Burgundy. But, mainly it is in the heart of the Burgundy wine region that produces the best wines in this world. My daughter Emma lives here with her husband Adrien and Ella.

We both are avid travelers and we took this unique opportunity to explore and broaden our horizons, and to share this with all our friends.

Dijon, Burgundy
Dijon, Burgundy

We started out in Paris on Sept.4th  after my arrival from the United States. (See my previous post “On the road”) from Sept. 7.

Paris Sept. 4th Pere Lachaise Cemetery

After seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral in 2009, like many tourists we’ve always wanted to visit the gravesite of singer, song writer, author and poet Jim Morrison, founder of the group The Doors, at the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Morrison’s grave is the fourth most visited site after the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pompideau Center, states a Paris guide.

It’s quite a ways out from the standard Paris tourist path located in the 20th Paris arrondissement near metro station Philippe Auguste.

It is the world’s greatest collection of dead human talent, according to listverse.com “Top ten fascinating graves.”

Jim Morrison's grave at Pere Lachaise in Paris.
Jim Morrison’s grave at Pere Lachaise in Paris.

Walking through the cemetery’s narrow cobblestone streets lined by sepulchers and mini chapels, I realized that this is a true “City of the dead” still operating on 110 acres with more than one million dead bodies. It is more a museum than a cemetery.

It even has a square Samuel de Champlain with benches, where people read novels or make notes. Morrison himself visited the cemetery one week before his death on July 2, 1971, and expressed a desire to be buried there.

Morrison’s humble grave is constantly surrounded by tourists and flashing cameras, probably bringing in more admirers then when he was alive. However, his bust was vandalized with graffiti and removed. The grave is regularly guarded and watched by two hidden cameras. It has the following inscription in Greek, “He caused his own demons.”

For more info on Jim Morrison’s frequented sites in Paris check out “The complete Paris guide for Jim Morrison fans” at http://pioum.chez.com/morrison/

Another famous grave is that of English author Oscar Wilde who escaped England to France to avoid the shame of his conviction for “gross indecency.”

Engraved on his grave is a verse from the “Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Wilde:

 And alien tears will fill for him,

Pity’s long-broken urn,

For his mourners will be outcast men,

And outcasts always mourn.

Other graves of the famous include: singer Edith Piaf, playwright Moliere, Honore de Balzac and Frederic Chopin.

…to be continued with Versailles, Palace of the King of the Sun

Copyright © 2013 story and photos by Emma Palova

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