Canal Saint Martin was a gorgeous walk, peppered with interesting sights. We haven’t been in Paris so long that we can’t take visitors to places which are also new to us. This area has the added bonus of being away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristique sights in Paris.

Fountain at Republique

The fountain at République.

The canal goes underground from Bastille to République and we learned that lesson the hard way: last time we started at Bastille and went the wrong way. But this time we took the metro all the way to where the canal comes up above the pavement again, saving our legs for walking along the actual canal.

First stop, however, was a flea market. These dwell on the footpaths and clog the walk-ways with everything from expensive antiques to utter trash… But I picked up a chunky glass vase for one euro! Luuk’s cousins were scouting for a record player but the old ones were no good and the good ones weren’t very old…

Alors, on va au canal:

Lock on Canal St Martin, Paris

Just as we arrived, two boats were being lowered in a lock. We saw several more boats and locks, some times together, as we made our way.

Dutch boy, Dutch boat, French Canal

Louis walked some of it, but his wee bike wasn’t much use on the rough cobbles, so Luuk carried him a lot. I wrestled the push chair, not too bad on the cobbles but the paths can be far from accessible… Lots of breaks, curbs, obstacles. And then there are the metro stations, many of which have neither lift or escalator. So we get to do weights with our cardio… needless to say, we were worn out and in great need of an ice cream once we reached Paris Plage, nearly at the end of the canal.

Today, the kids have a lovely babysitter and I’m off to Paris on my own – well, to meet a friend. We will have lunch, explore a cemetery, and talk French. This particular cemetery is gargantuan and numerous famous people lie there.

Pere-Lachaise cemetary, Paris

I was pleasantly surprised in that it is beautifully shady, ideal for a hot day like today. We meandered among the old oaks and jumble of graves, some near new and others falling to pieces

grave with crank - Pere-Lachaise cemetary, Paris

Strange and haunting epitaphs line the paths. Beneath a wrought iron frame, this grave has its own crank. For raising the dead, or lowering them? Hm.

Pere-Lachaise cemetary, Paris

And then there are the celebs… Edith Piaf, Proust, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Jim Morrison and many more.

here lies Oscar Wilde

Here lies Oscar Wilde, ou peut être, ici réside Oscar Wilde.

How’s that for a theme. The canal, and the graves, are predominantly underground, but I saw the bits above. And that’s enough for me.