There are over 70,000 plots at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. The “tiny houses” and memorials cover a sprawling 110 acres of streets and you can easily spend an entire day exploring. There are many famous people residing there, including Jim Morrison – the Lizard King.
At the entrance of the cemetery is a directory listing the residence, along with their street address. We looked up Jim Morrison’s address and headed towards his place.
404 Address Not Found.
We walked back and forth, did they change the name? Was it one number off? WTF!
Now it was a quest. We headed back to the directory, doubled checked, and soon realized we had been sent on a wild goose chase.
We had heard that there were problems with graffiti and such and that there was extra security. I guess this was one of their solutions. We had noticed several others wandering around looking confused and realized they were on the same mission. So we decided to continue on enjoying the morning and trust that we would run across Mr. Morrison.
The thoughtfulness and design of the tombs and detailed works of art that adorn them is absolutely amazing. Besides the artwork you will find beautiful poetry, inscriptions and entire family histories on generational tombs. It is as if you have stepped into a city within another realm and has the effect of bringing the memories of the departed to life. If you have never experienced this it is definitely a must see. The pics that follow were for our own memories, not with a blog in mind, but they will give you a general idea. Check out this website for a video and better pics.
Before we knew it several hours had passed and we weren’t even half-way through the cemetery.
We noticed two young guys loaded with camera gear half running down the streets. Obviously on the hunt, we decided to follow them.
When we caught up to them we learned they had taken a cab from the airport to take some pics of Morrison’s grave during a 3 hour layover and only had one hour left.
They sprinted off and we continued in the same general direction. Eventually, we saw them standing a few streets over, having arrived at their destination.
It was, for sure, the most visited and adorned grave site I have ever seen.
The grave itself is simple and plain, just as the Lizard King would have wanted. The plot is fenced off but still covered with flowers, colorful ribbons, quotes from his music, memorabilia and paraphernalia. So many messages and ribbons were posted on the tree next to it that they had to protect it with a bamboo wrap. One of the maintenance guys told us they have to remove the offerings at least once a week.
The young camera guys set up the shoot and were gone in ten minutes; hoping to catch their flight to the marijuana convention in Amsterdam with only minutes to spare – hope they made it.
It was great to see Millennials searching for Morrison. We headed back to our room to get ready for a concert later that evening.
Turned out it was electronic music, first time we had heard it live and really enjoyed it. I think Morrison would have approved. Three generations, Boomers, GenX and Millennials enjoying each others music and breaking down the barriers that divide us.