IF YOU have extra time on your hands when traveling and want to take home as many stories as you can, would you take a graveyard tour? Eerie?
Chances are you already have. Little did you know that some of the popular attractions you have visited are also graveyards. Temples and shrines are some, like the Fushimi Inari. Your favorite shot in the vermillion tori tunnels of the shrine are dreamy but did you notice the many graveyards alongside the tori trails as you ascended to the topmost shrines?
Old Churches and chapels double as burial sites as well. If the tomb is not displayed in plain sight (like the tomb of Saint John of Nepomuk in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague), gravestones can be seen on the floor of a church's nave and the transept. Or you've totally missed it with all the attention focused on the grandeur of the altar, the ceiling design and the majestic marble statues by the church walls. If you're curious enough, you'd say yes to visit the crypt.
How about graveyards? Sites like the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin or the TuolSleng Genocide Museum and Khmer Rouge Killing Fields Museum in Phnom Penh are frequented by tourists. I've been to the Cambodia capital's attractions and the places are eerily quiet even with numerous visitors present. All you'd here are whispers, and perhaps some don't even come from the people you see. The experience can be depressing. Silence becomes a part of you for quite a while after leaving the place.
How about when you find yourself in a totally deserted graveyard on a gloomy, drizzling cold day?
There's so much to see and experience in Paris, yes. But what about when you want to explore it "deeper" than the popular sites that define the city, like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, and far from the city center?
Pere Lachaise is also one of Paris' popular attractions but it is seldom, if not, seen on the must-visit list. Opened in 1804, it was the first garden cemetery which became the largest cemetery in Paris. With 3.5 million tourists visiting yearly, it is the most visited necropolis in the world.
After making the usual rounds around city and looking for a new place to check out, the suggestion visit Pere Lachaise came. It is the resting place of many famous personalities like Chopin, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde.
You will lose your way in the 44-heactare property. It's wise to buy or download a map. You don't want to get stuck inside the place when darkness falls with the gates closed and locked. It's eerie enough during the daytime much more when the light fades.
How about you? How many graveyards have you toured?
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