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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday April 7th - Paris Marathon and Paris Cemetery

We saw the start of the Paris Marathon this morning.  We walked four blocks from our front door to the Champs Elysees, where there were crowds of spectators lining the street looking through fences at the far larger crowd of runners waiting to start.  The runners were all wearing white trash bags provided by the organizers so they could keep warm while waiting an hour in the cold wearing running clothes. Music like "We Are the Champions" and "It's Raining Men (Hallelujah)" blared from speakers while an announcer called out "Enjoy your time!" and other encouragements in English, then French.  Jennifer remarked that our French language skills are about the level of a dog - we can understand "blah, blah, blah, four hours 15 minutes, blah blah blah"!

As the runners were finally allowed to start running (there are so many that they have to be staged according to their running pace), you started to see people strip off the white trash bags, or light jackets or pullovers and throw them to the ground on the side of the road.  Later, when all the runners were gone, scavengers showed up and started picking over the shirts and jackets and stuffing them in sacks.

Little neighborhood market named Casino (a chain of small stores in France) had an LCD display for the price tag of every item in the store!  How did they beat us to it!  That's a great idea!

We wanted to buy a single red pepper from a local vegetable market for 3.95 Euros.  When we finally got the proprietor, he asked how many we wanted.  When we said one, he gave us a dirty look, said "Non, non", and wagged his finger at us.  OK - so you'll get 0 Euros from us.  I'm not sure why, but I got really angry at him when this happened, but no confrontation, we just walked away quickly.

Pere Lachaise cemetery was beautiful on such a nice day.  Lots of crumbling old crypts, cobblestone paths, and big old trees, bare, except for a few buds.  It's true what they say about the place being chock full of really famous corpses, but we didn't concentrate on that.  We did happen to run across Balzac, Chopin, and Moliere.

The photos are just of things I liked, no celebrities, except for one.

The one above was at Chopin's grave.

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