Paris 2013: Day 8 — Printemps and Paris Opera House


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The Paris Opera House.

Wednesday, 7/31/13

It was another restless night.   I crawled out of bed around 7:45am because I could not sleep.

My DH and I took another walk to the market (we needed more eggs) and to the bakery (we needed more bread).   My DH made scrambled eggs for breakfast to go with the bread and juice – it was yummy!   Next, I took a nap – very unlike me but what can I say, I needed it.

Around noon, we finally left the apartment to go to the Paris Opera House for a tour in English at 2:30pm.   When we got there, the ticket office was closed for lunch.   So we went to Printemps, the competitor store of the Galleries Lafayette.   It seems that all the best shopping is around the Opera House.

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The Printemps Department Store.

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View of Paris from the terrace of the Printemps Cafe.

Printemps is just as impressive as Galleries Lafayette, though not as large.   The shopping is exclusive, the shopping is expensive — I have no wallet for any of it.   But, they had a Laduree shop tucked into the front of the store – no line!   I bought two macaroons – one raspberry and one café!   So delicate and light, they melted in my mouth like really good cotton candy!

An hour later, we are back at the opera and in line to purchase our tickets for the 2:30pm English tour.   We are told that this tour is sold out.    We were advised to pre-purchase tickets for the 3:30pm tour, so we did.

For the next hour, we headed back to Printemps to smell perfume and look at Parisian home interiors.

We finally did tour the Opera House.   Another old and impressive building, the Paris Opera house is also the center of Parisian ballet.   Students as young as eight start their professional ballet training here for the sole purpose of being performers at the performance held here in Paris.   Lights on crystal chandeliers reflected in hundreds of mirrors, gold leaf and paint on nearly every surface, all framed by  gleaming marble statues and columns.    According to the tour guide, this opera house was a case study of poor project management in the 1800’s.  Still, I could never tell,  it is magnificent!

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The main hall of the Paris Opera House.

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Patrons of the house watched the opera in style!

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The ceiling of the opera house theater was paint by Marc Chagall. This is the most recent painting. The original painting (damaged by the gas lamps that were used long, long ago) is still intact and remains underneath the new painting. It was thought to be disrespectful to the artist to have his painting painted-over by Chagall.

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The Grand Hall of the Paris Opera House.

We spent two hours at the opera house.  They had a small exhibit of costumes from some of their performances — brilliantly creative and constructed, they make we want to go to the opera!   Of course, the opera is a classy event and we did not bring any classy clothes with us.   But then, we are in the shopping capital of the world and I am sure I could find an nice, suitable dress — assuming I could ever talk my DH out of his flannel shirt, that is.

After the Opera, we walked up and down the streets around this Opera Plaza.  Store after store of expensive jewelery shops can be found here.   These are some of the most exclusive streets in the world — all with posters of American actors and actresses in stunning jewels and elegant evening wear.  I reminded my DH of how lucky he is — expensive bling is just not my thing.

We made it back to the apartment around 8pm.   It was a long day.   My DH fell asleep without dinner.   I had a glass of wine and spent some time watch the BBC before taking a shower and going to bed myself.   I have no idea what we will do tomorrow – I like that!

Quote of the Day:   “That wasn’t on the website!” — DH regarding the 3:30pm tour of the Paris Opera House

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