Père Lachaise

Paris, France

H&M trench + shirt; Calvin Klein jeans; Dooney & Bourke bag

The Père Lachaise Cemetery is the perfect place to spend a fall afternoon.  It's shady and quiet, and if you go on a weekday, it won't be too crowded.  The trees throughout the cemetery turn lovely shades of red and gold as the seasons change.  You're guaranteed to see a few celebrities (dead ones, of course), and the whole thing is free.

There's only one thing to keep in mind if you're a photographer, and it's this: you can't use a camera tripod anywhere in the cemetery.  Cameras are fine, but tripods are not.  I can think of a few reasons why this rule might exist:

1) You might swing the tripod around and hit someone in the face.  We don't want to be responsible. Fine, fine, that's understandable.  Do you mind explaining your policy on open graves and broken cobblestones?  What about those sections of path that direct unassuming tourists towards unmarked drop-off points where they might fall 15 feet and land on a gravestone?

2) There are plenty of level surfaces throughout the cemetery upon which you might rest your camera.  We refer, of course, to the gravestones themselves. 

3) Solo travelers are pathetic.  If you don't have a friend who can take your picture, you should remain in your hotel room and cry about your social demise. 

To make matters more confusing, there are no signs indicating that tripods are prohibited.  The only reason I know about it is because when I walked past the guard station, a man came charging out, then told me to put my tripod away.  

Well...guess what...he was the second guard to tell me I couldn't use the tripod...and I did anyway.  That's right.  I broke the rules and used my tripod in the cemetery.  I'm a conscientious traveler, and I'm always respectful of rules, but both guards were very rude about it.  The second guard threatened to destroy all my photos if he caught me using the tripod again, and then he followed me around the cemetery, hiding behind gravestones and waiting to see what I would do.  I finally stopped walking and stared directly at him, at which point he vanished.

Guess what?  I had a great afternoon in spite of him, AND I got a lot of great photos.  Win-win.