Why Taking a Stroller to a Parisian Cemetery is a Bad Idea

A handful of hauntingly beautiful cemeteries call Paris home. And while I encourage everyone to contemplate mortality here, I may hold my breath if you’re thinking of tackling the underworld with a stroller.

Or you may end up six feet under yourself.

Père LaChaise cemetery is beautiful, but…

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A row of ghoulish Parisian apartments

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Must. Find. Key.

The view next to the Chapelle du Père Lachaise

The view next to the Chapelle du Père Lachaise

Couldn't figure out how to type "Nevermore" in a French accent... just imagine it.

Couldn’t figure out how to type “Nevermore” in a French accent… just imagine it.

Who's Colette you say?

Who’s Colette you say?

workplace-violence

You remember Colette.

Here are 5 reasons to think twice about making a trip to Père LaChaise with a stroller in tow:

1. Stairs
For red flag number one, practically every place is only accessible at one point or another by stairs, massive steps, or a straight up climb. This means you should make sure to bring someone athletic with you to assist in lugging your child around over Hell and high water and back. If that plan fails, bring someone who won’t judge- you will end up leaving the kid and stroller in the middle of the cemetery’s avenue while you tromp through the headstones looking for the famous people. (Jim Morrison is buried here!)

Stairs at Pere Lachaise

This was more a precipice than the top of a set of 100 stairs.

2. Slick stairs
Alright, so you’re buff enough to tackle the endless stairs. Just know that they are slick! My friend found that out the hard way. She survived. Her clothes did not.

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Even when not glazed with snow, these steps mean DANGER. Although some people laugh in the face of danger. Lion King anyone?

3. Steep uphill roads
Would you take a stroller to Mount Everest? Up a nice walk on the side of a volcano? Vertically up the Empire State Building? So would I. Apparently. There’s a reason the Père Lachaise Cemetery offers a fantastic view of Paris.

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The problem with this picture is it doesn’t show the miles of uphill climb leading up to this moment.

4. All the good stuff is back behind other creepy stuff
Like I mentioned in point 1, there are tons of historic things to see in Père Lachaise, but they are literally off the beaten path.  Be prepared to wander between tombstones with walkways only wide enough for you to place one foot in front of the other. Do they make baby carriages that skinny?

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He was relatively easy to get to. Looking for Jim Morrison? Here’s a clue: step back and look at all the (live) people around you. They all seem to be generally headed in one direction, right? The magnetism that you’re observing is emitting from Jim’s headstone. There will be crowds.

5. It’s silent… Except for your noisy self clattering around
The cemetery is dead quiet, save for the wings of a bird and the wind with the memory of the city in the background….

CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK CLATTER CLATTER CLATTER CLACK CLACK CLACK

That was your obnoxious foreigner self. Pushing a stroller over 200 year old cobblestones.

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Feels kind of like this. “The racket! The noise! The volume….”

Notice I didn’t say don’t do the Paris cemetery without a baby. Just do it smart- ditch the stroller.

Ditch my stroller?

You know you wanna lemme outta here! This photo and a few others curtesy my friend Jana Lahitova. 

For example, check out this couple I stalked:

Smart travelers use a baby backpack. #wishlist

Smart travelers use a baby backpack. #wishlist

Very smart. And look where they’re headed.

Up!

Up!

So don’t be ridiculous.

not dead yet

Is that girl crouching in a crypt? Ridiculous!

Kati Tmbstone Row

Freedom from the strollers! Freedom from the strollers!

Set yourself free.

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Although I can think of one person who normally benefits from a bumpy ride…

Have you been to any of Paris’s cemeteries? Do you find them as fascinating as I do? I get my love for them from my mom. (Hi Mom!)

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2 responses to “Why Taking a Stroller to a Parisian Cemetery is a Bad Idea

  1. When I was in Paris we had some free time and this is where I went. Chopins grave was my fav of the ones I saw.

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