Voyage Toujours Tales – Cemeteries: London, Paris, Charleston

I am fascinated by old cemeteries. What is it that I find so pleasing and so calming about the old gravestones? Works of art – Sculptures and mausoleums built to honor those separated from us. Stroll through the grounds and find serenity. They are an oasis from the city in which they are located. You step into the gates and outside of the physical world. Don’t get me wrong, i don’t want to spend a night here, that would creep me out, but during the day, a nice, cloudy day, I am one with the spirits. Take a walk with me through Highgate and Brompton in London, Père Lachaise in Paris and graveyards in Charleston.

Highgate Cemetery, London

“Died in the 19th year of her age From the effects of Fire, her dress having accidentally ignited ten days previously.

In bloom of youth, when others fondly cling to life, I prayed, mid agonies, for death. And unappaled his awful advent hailed, the only pang my bleeding heart endured was, thus so early doomed to leave behind on earth those whom I so dearly loved.”

Brompton Cemetery, London

When in London, I enjoy staying in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, what, what!

Just south, between South Ken & Fulham, you will find the Brompton Cemetery. Each time I return to London, I enjoy finding new places to visit and explore.

“Brompton Cemetery is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. It combines historic monuments, trees and wildlife with the stories of the remarkable people buried here. This beautiful landscape is the only Cemetery in the country owned by the Crown and managed by The Royal Parks on behalf of the nation.”

Père Lachaise, Paris

In the 20th Arrondissement of Paris is Père Lachaise cemetery. Some people know of it because of its most famous inhabitant, Jim Morrison. However, I find his gravesite quite disappointing and do not feature it here. Other famous names you may know are Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Eugène Delacroix, Molière and Frederic Chopin; whose gravestone is one of my favorites. There are also some stirring memorials to those that died in WWII.

Cemeteries, Charleston, S.C.

Scattered around the city of Charleston, lay several cemeteries commemorating the dead. From Civil War to modern times, the dead in Charleston have a story to tell. With moss covered trees and lingering shadows, the mood is set. But, behind a few corners are bursts of color ringing in new life.


Friday Night Louvre Visit – 2014

What are you doing on Friday night? If you’re in Paris, why not visit the Louvre? The Louvre is open late two nights a week. The Louvre has approximately 35,000 works of art on display. They have more than 380,000 works stored there, so they are only displaying about 10% of the best of what they have in over 650,000 sq ft. of space. The most visited work of art is the Mona Lisa but it’s ridiculous to come here just to see her, in what is my opinion, not one of my favorite Leonardo works of art. The museum/palace/fortress, is a gorgeous architectural space and the variety of works from Cycladic art dating from 3,5000 B.C. to the 19th century paintings are extraordinary. Take your time and wander through its the vastness of space and its history.

The museum is in a U shape with the Denon wing on the right, if you are facing the Pyramid entrance. The Denon wing houses the Mona Lisa, The Venus de Milo and the Nike of Samothrace to name a few. The Antiquities wing is housed in the Sully wing and the sculpture garden and Dutch works, some of my favorites, are housed in the Richelieu wing along with what was once Napoleon’s apartments. The center courtyard to this U shape is the Pyramid entrance or the I.M. Pei pyramid.

If you got rid of the crowds, you could get lost here. I don’t mean lost, as in you don’t know where you are, I mean lost in its grandeur. Don’t forget to look at the building itself. Every single space is occupied and that could get exhausting. I once spent just about 12 hours in a row here, and it wasn’t enough. Don’t let that scare you. If you are looking to see the “must sees”, you can do this in about an hour or so, if you know how to get there. Take a look at the map and plan your attack. But, if you have more than just a couple of hours, give her the time and respect that she’s due.

Rodin’s Crib 2014

Come with me and reminisce past museum visits around the world. In this episode, we are at Rodin’s Paris home on a blustery, cloudy day in January of 2014. The internal structure was under repair but the garden was available for a stroll.

Rodin’a sculptures, at least the ones I was drawn to, show a human suffering of the mind which is often reflected in the body. I would say the reverse also holds true. A lot of his figures are in tragic or “pensive” poses. His most famous, Le Penseur (The Thinker) is not my favorite. Can you guess which one is?