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Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

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Bolton, United...
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Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

day one, Saturday 4th June.

We arrived to hot and sticky Paris and after dropping our bags in the apartment on rue de la Roquette near the Bastille we headed out in search of lunch.

Lizzie does not eat meat, so I have decided to explore the options for vegetarian food in Paris on this trip.

Couscous and vegetables, with mint tea was our first meal at Le Souk on rue Keller. Total cost for two was 36.60.

Lizzie wanted to visit Pere Lachaise cemetary. Last year my husband and I went to Pere Lachaise, on a cold and windy May day and I have said before that after about ten minutes we said to each other " what are we doing looking at graves in a foreign language when we go to enough funerals at home?" we just didn't get it.

Still, being the good friend I am (TIC)! I said I would give it another go. We caught the 69 bus to Gambetta.

It was a sunny day and we got a map from the flower shop across from the entrance on Ave de Pere Lachaise.

Lizzies words about Pere Lachaise " It was a unique. It was like an encapsulated town with interesting side streets. At any moment it seemed that somebody should pop out of the tomb doorways and say hello"! Lizzie enjoyed it immensly.

It was interesting to seek out the tombs of Oscar Wilde ( interesting graffiti!) Edith Piaf, ( well kept and adorned by fans ) Jim Morrison (sadly neglected and vandalised) Proust and others.

We were surprised by the war and holacaust memorials and I was VERY upset by them, although I could appreciate the art of the sculptures. The cremation plaques were also interesting and artistic.

However, I still would not go back and feel that looking around memorials to dead people is not my idea of fun. Probably because I go to too many funerals and tend to too many graves at home.

In the evening we caught metro line 11 up to Pyranees and walked past the doorway where Edith Piaf is supposed to have been born left onto rue Piat and along to the Bute de Parc de Belleville, with it's fantastic panorama of Paris.

We were hoping to find some music at the cafe bar across the road, but we were out of luck so we crossed the road again to Rue Envierges and had a lovely evening at the sing along cafe, Le Veiux Belleville, where the lovely lady plays an accordian and the patrons sing traditional French songs to song sheets. The finale being a loud rendition of "Je ne regret rien".

Therewere no meat free dishes on the menu, so we asked for a vegetarion dish and the chef rustled up a tasty kind of pesto pasty, with goats cheese on top, salad and frites for 13.50 euro.

Just before 2300h we came out of the cafe in time to see the Eiffel tower start to twinkle in the distance. A magical moment, followed closely by a spectacular electrical storm in the sky to the west.

A ferocious thunder storm followed which cleared the air for a while.

Denise and Lizzie.

Love from Paris

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1. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Great report. Can't wait to hear about Day 2 and beyond. Sorry to hear that Jim's grave is going unattended. I too can get along without visiting cemeteries unnecessarily , although I did enjoy a peek at the above ground cemeteries in New Orleans.

Be sure to post more and send our best to Veggie Lizzie.

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2. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Ah Denise...I love old cemeteries. The older the better. I can understand Lizzie's fascination with Pere Lachaise. This is your second (?) trip to Paris with Lizzie. Have you created another Paris addict? :)

You also reminded me about a commercial currently running in the states for the upcoming Tour de France. It shows some past muck-ups and has Edith Piaf belting out Je Ne Regrette Rien.

Sounds like another successful Paris trip. Glad you had fun!

PS. Please tell Lizzie I was asking for her.

Edited: 06 June 2011, 01:15
Bolton, United...
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3. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Day two. Sunday 5th June

We awoke again to a hot and sticky day, although the morning was overcast.

After breakfast we set off for a rendezvous with TA member

nyc_girl7664 on Rue Monge, only to find the metro line one was closed till 1000h for maintenance and line 5 is closed for long term.

So we walked over the river to Rue Monge, and spent a lovely hour chatting to the charming and lovely nyc_girl7664.

We then had planned to follow a Literary walk we had found in the Guardian newspaper, starting with 71 rue Cardinal Lemoine where James Joyce finised editing Ulysses. then as follows.

74 Rue Cardinal Lemoine, Hemingway lived there form 1922-23

39 rue Descartes. Hemingway worked in a garret and poet Paul Verlaine died in 1896.

Rue Mouffetard and Place des Contrascarpe

Cafe des Amateurs (now renamed as Cafe Delmas) desribed by Hemingway as a "cesspool" in A Moveable Feast.

Of course I had to stop for Amorina on rue Muffetard!

Rue Pot de Feu. full of cafes, George Orwell worked as a pot washer at number 6 in Down and Out in Paris and London.

Rue Tournefort, where most of Balzacs novel Pere Goriot is set...

Then we did a detour from the walking tour, to spend an hour at the bottom of rue Mouffetard, Singing and dancing with the locals, as they do every Sunday around midday. Great time was had!

Next we visited the beautiful Jardins des Plantes and Mosque de Paris nearbye for more refreshing mint tea. The sun was now shining and the temperature was rising. It was pleasant and relaxing to sit in the shade of the Mosque garden under the trees.

We caught a bus along rue Monge back to Cardinal Lemoine to a vegetarian restaurant we had noticed, only to find it closed! So we ate a very acceptable vegetarian platter of Hummous, tabauleh, samosa,some sort of lentil and green beans with pitta at LE CEDAR, 6 rue Mouffetard.

The church of St Etienne de Mont was our next stop with its lovely staircases and windows and then on to the Pantheon, where Lizzie found more dead people to visit!

I went to a cafe and read my book!

It is always the unexpected that I love in Paris. Passing the Luxembourg gardens, we heard music and we were treated to a fantastic big band concert from the bandstand for about an hour.

The Park was beautiful in the sunshine with the flowers out and the children sailing boats on the lake, people relaxing chairs , reading and chattintg.

The air was getting heavy and it seemed like it may rain, so we hurried to the UGC Danton cinema near the Odeon metro as I wanted to see "Midnight in Paris" the new Woody Allen film.

For anyone who loves Paris, the locations are entertaining enough but I don't have the words to describe how clever I thought the film was, with its cynical but gentle fun making of Americans and Parisophiles. (including myself)

We both loved the film and would see it again, but talking to two American ladies later at the cafe des Flores ( more of the literary walk!) we realised that they just did not "get" the film as we did and just thought it was "funny", not really a word I would use to describe the film. . I suppose everyone sees different things in a film.

Dinner was nearby at L' INSULAR on rue Gregoire de Tours. Avocado salad starter and Onion tart was provided, again off the menu, on request for a vegetarian option, by the proprietor.

Another fantastic thunderstorm, which temporarily flooded the street and kept us in the cafe talking to our interesting neighbours from Florida till after midnight.

Ahh .....But as he keeps saying in the film....Paris is beautiful in the rain!

Denise and Lizzie

Love from Paris

Edited: 06 June 2011, 01:40
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4. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Great TR. Thanks for sharing. I am surprised that Jim Morrison's grave is neglected and vandalized. I wonder what is up with that.

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5. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Denise, seems that you are off to another fantastic trip to Paris! How lucky you were to be able to see "Midnight in Paris" IN PARIS!! I'm very jealous! :)

Spending a sunny afternoon in Parc de Luxembourg is always such a treat. Den and I were lucky to happen upon such a concert on our last afternoon there in October, it just ended our trip on such a warm note.

I remember being very surprised by the Holocaust memorials at Pere Lachaise three years ago and became very weepy remembering all those poor men, women and children who perished during that horrible time. It's stayed with me ever since.

Can't wait to hear more, here's wishing you more beautiful weather, wonderful sights, good food and great times with your friend.


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6. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Denise, sounds like you have having a wonderful time... can't wait to read more. I wish I lived close by like you and was able to just jump over the pond for a quick visit to Paris!

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7. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

We have seen the Morrison grave a couple of times and it always looks the same -- his fans used to graffiti all over the cemetery but that seems to have died down a bit -- the grave is sort of crammed into an awkward spot and is covered in flowers and memorabilia - there was once a bronze bust on it, but that was stolen decades ago -- and so the screw that held it sort of pokes up -- it is not beyond that 'vandalized' -- although of course if may be worse since last summer

Parisians were pretty ticked at the graffiti on other graves by assorted barbaric fans and at some point there was talk of removing the grave (many graves are temporary anyway) but that seems to be off the table now or so I have read

it is fairly hard to locate without an excellent map. this can be said of lots of the graves of course.

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8. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Metro line 5 is NOT closed. One station on the line is closed for renovation.

Good report, as always.

Bolton, United...
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9. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Sorry Kerouac, I realise that my words were misleading, I meant line 5 was closed yesterday morning AT HE BASTILLE.

Jim Morrisons grave and the surrounding graves are fenced off with ugly fencing, (the type which would be put over road works) which is broken in places. It looked like people had just thrown things over the fence. There is a nearbye tree on which people had written graffiti and were still doing so as we watched. There must be none of Jim Morrisons family around to look after the grave.

The graffitti on Oscar Wldes grave was interesting. It was covered in lipstick kisses and messages of endearment, which I thought had been painted till I saw somebody actually putting lipstick on and kissing the stonework!!

Monday morning. 0900h,...badly needed lie in today! It is raining slightly.

We were going to try a free discovery walking tour at 10am this morning but the rain and late start have knocked that on the head.

Lizzie correctly reading a Frommers guide, left in the apartment, looking for places for lunch!

Edited: 06 June 2011, 08:37
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10. Re: Me and veggie Lizzie (trip report)

Jim Morrison was buried with a 30 year concession. They were going to remove him when it expired in 2001, but then the city of Paris decided to extend the concession due to public interest.