Country Info: Tripadvisor , CIA
Hotels: Le Nouvel Orleans
Things to do:
Currency ex: LBS to USD
Mike: The highlight for this trip was our visit to Marquis Lafayette’s grave. As usual we cram packed our plan with the sights and sounds of Paris. We rode the metro out to Picpus. The gravesite is not a popular tourist site, thus it was extremely difficult to find. There are one or two sites in the web that describe how to find. We wandered unsucessfully around looking for the entry. Finally with my limited French, I stopped in a wood flooring shop and asked for directions. The kind woman left her post and took us to huge wooden doors. We stepped inside and were met with the priest. I explained that we would like to see the grave. He asked in perfect english, “do you speak English”. I smiled and said yes. He then proceeded to speak to me French! I asked again if we could visit the site. He said no and turned and walked away. It was noon and noon mass at the small church was just beginning. The grave yard was closed until 1:30pm. Luci and i shuffled over to some concrete steps. We sat down, dejected, and disappointed. We both had worked so hard to study about the location, then we felt blessed to find someone that could help us find it. We were on such a tight timeline, that it was impossible to wait or return later. As were were commiserating, the priest came back over and said, ” exceptione.” We paid our entry fee and he pointed to the back of the church. As we entered the second section of the cemetary, we saw the American flag. For me, it was a feeling akin to seeing the US embassy in Tel Aviv. An american flag has flown over the headstone since WWI.
Lafayette was key in the success of the American revolution. George Washington and Lafayette were lifelong friends. The Marquis named his son George Washington and daughter Virginia. One of Washington’s requests was to bury the Marquis in America. Lafayette wouldn’t have it. So as the story goes, Washington had 10 barrels of Virginia top soil shipped to Paris, and the Marquis was “buried” in Virginia. People leave Washington quarters on his grave as a tribute. A must visit if you are in Paris. Please send us your pics!