Monday, 3 March 2008

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

I have always wanted to visit the Père-Lachaise cemetery, not only to check out the final resting place of Jim Morrison but also to check out all the grand old gothic tombstones with names that are lost to history. 

Given the cemetery was just a few hundred metres down the road, it was a must-do-stop on our Paris adventure and it didn't disappoint.

We spent a good hour wondering around, tracked down Morrison and Chopin. Turns out that the city have removed all the graffiti after complaints from other residents (?), that would be their families I presume.  I also took some shots of a few tombstones which I found interesting and I will have to try and find what these guys did before they ended up in this place. It could just fill the spot on a boring blog day.

  PereLachaise4 PereLachaise3 PereLachaise2


Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Paris skyline from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica

After physical activities of the morning I planned a "relaxing" afternoon stroll through Montmartre on the right bank. The kids were keen to get outside and we hoped to catch up with Pavlos, the owner of the property we are renting in Dordogne. Pavlos is an artist and works at the very well known Artists’ Square, "Place du Tertre".

It is almost 20 years to the day when Don Bradford and I explored Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, it was this first experience of Paris which started my fascination with France. Today's outing brought back lots of memories.

I manage to trick Ange into exploring the dome of the Sacré-Cœur, she told me afterwards that the views were worth climbing up the steps. The boys loved this detour: they are into anything that involves exploring dark corridors, steep stairways and not knowing what is around the next corner.

We also headed around the corner to explore the colourfully Artists' Square. It was good to catch up with Pavlos and get out all the art on display around the square.

That evening we took the boys to an Italian place on Place de la République for Pizza. The wine didn't last long.. must have a been a leak. We had to have another bottle when we got home.

Sacre Cour

16th Semi-Marathon de Paris

IMG_1626 IMG_1627
All ready to goIMG_1641
Don't cross lady - she is not stopping!IMG_1653
Hotel de Ville

It's over - phew. I think the pictures tell a better story than the words.  It was a good, hard race.  Starting positions were well marked off: unlike Auckland - where walkers, half , and full-marathoners are all lumped together at the start regardless of ability.

We decided to set a steady pace of 6 min/ kilometres and stay together for the whole race. This gave me a bit of a chance to take some photo's, although I still don't have the shutter timer worked out properly.

We ran into the centre of Paris, around Hotel de Ville, back along the Seine and around the woodland area surrounding Château de Vincennes.

Just about every kilometre of the race they had bands playing, calypso drummers or brass bands.  While the course was quite wide it never really thinned out - you could run freely but had to be careful not to knock anyone over.

We went through the finish line and straight back to the Metro to get home to relieve the baby-sitter.  Amelie, the babysitter, was lovely and very good with the kids. Greg, you would be interested that she is in her 3rd year studying towards becoming a chiropractor, it is also 6/7 years in France.

Where's the start line?
Ah, The Start Line,
10 mins after the gun.

Along the Seine
Half way Ange!



Some of the bands.

This guy on the left ran the whole race on stilts!! Check out his stride length.


I am missing a picture for this slot. 

I do have a good one that could go here but then I'll have to change the caption on the picture to the right to read:

"but I wasn't looking"

I just asked if you wanted to pick up the pace a bit!

10 metres to the finish line

Getting close


Well done Team Bisset 



Ange's first race medal

Break's over - lets head to the Metro.

Château de Vincennes: 21km Start

Cliquez pour voir le film et commencer votre visite...

Dating back to the 12th century, a little before the Louvre, Vincennes is one of the few castles which, from the Middle Ages to our time, has consistently found itself at the centre of French History.
It is surrounded by the Bois "wood" de Vincennes.  It was a crowded metro ride to join some 23,000 runners line up for the start.