When Camille and I arrived in Paris, my friend Sylvie met us at the airport. She drove us to our hotel which took a solid two hours, in traffic. She is a true friend. Our flight from LA had been delayed so we arrived at rush hour. It was also the evening of the Fête de Musique - a huge music festival - so there were people everywhere. Sylvie had packed an overnight bag but unfortunately there were no hotel rooms to be found that night for her due to the festival. But she did spend the evening with us. We spread maps and her guide books out and plotted our plan of attack. Our hotel was close to Montmartre so I told her Camille and I would make our way there the following day. For our first day in Paris, the three of us walked down to the corner Tabac shop and bought a pack of Metro tickets. Then we rode the Metro to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs d'Elysees. After Sylvie left, Camille and I collapsed in our room. Camille wanted to know why there was a WalMart in Paris and why we were going to visit there. It took me a few minutes to figure out that when Sylvie and I were discussing Montmartre, Camille thought we were saying WalMart. They do rhyme. Kind of.
We woke to rain the following morning. We were up early due to the time change and after breakfast made our way to the cemetery at Montmartre. We arrived at the gates at 8:00 am, and wandered the aisles in the rain. There weren't any other people there, it was gloomy, and we ducked under the many trees lining the pathways in a futile attempt to stay dry. We never did find the graves of Degas, Sartre or the many other famous people interned there. But we did see a lot of very old gravestones, some beautiful statues, and cats.
It was a fascinating place and we would have stayed even longer, but after a couple hours of walking, we were drenched. I didn't have my umbrella and our hoodie sweatshirts were soaked. Despite the weather, it was easily my favorite place in Paris. Of course, there is something very apropos about walking through a cemetery in the rain.