Sunday, November 8, 2009

Katie in Paris Day 7

Our daily routine is now established as a walk down Rue Moufftard to the little café we found that we like so much and have a café au lait with a croissant. We linger at the table, which is the habit of the French---Europeans in general-- discussing our plans for the day and practicing our French. Katie has quite taken to the language and tries to put it in use as often as possible. She readily addresses the waiters and clerks in the stores in French. She made conversation the other night with the owner of Isle d’Crete and was even impressed with herself. I think the little fellow behind the counter preparing our food was smitten with Katie a bit. He smiled a lot and spoke broken English to her. I think he wanted to impress her. She thought this was sweet.

We hopped on the Metro just around the corner and made our way over to L’Opera near the Galleries Lafayette. Our plan for the day was to go to the Garnier Opera House for a tour and do some shopping while we were near les grand magasin the department stores. Katie was in need of a new dress for Heidi’s wedding shower this weekend. We walked around and went into several different department stores shopping (it was less crowded today)and trying on clothes. She actually found a cute dress at H & M for a very reasonable price and I found a trench coat I liked. (I really needed to add to my coat collection.) I also fell in love with this little French Beret with leopard spots in black and white.

The Garnier Opera House Le Palais Garnier was well worth the visit. The building is magnificent inside. The opera house was built on the orders of Napoleon III as part of the great Parisian reconstruction project. The project for the opera house was put out to competition and won by a young unknown architect named Charles Garnier. The construction project, which lasted 15 years, began in 1860. The building is as magnificent as any palace and also has a hall of mirrors that mimics Versailles. Unfortunately we were not able to go inside the auditorium as rehearsals for La Boheme were underway and it was closed to the public. I tried to get us tickets to the opera but they were completely sold out three weeks ago. Next time I have the opportunity I will buy tickets well in advance of my trip. I believe seeing a performance in this beautiful Opera House would be a thrill. The crystal chandelier in the auditorium weighs 8 tons!

We hopped by on the Metro and went back to the hotel to get ready for our night at the legendary Moulin Rouge. We got there early and had dinner at a little brassiere across the street. The Moulin Rouge is the most famous cabaret in the world since 1889. The show was spectacular with lots of feathers, rhinestones, sequins, fabulous sets, original music and beautiful girls. We drank champagne while the singers and dancers paraded around on the stage. They did not miss anything. They had live ponies in the show; a pool of water that came up out of the floor with huge boa constrictors in it and a show girl jumped in to swim around with them; a great ventriloquist who had a little dog in the act; and of course, the can-can dancers. The show was well worth it and we were so glad we went.

The plan for the last day is to take it easy and go to the Champs Elysee.

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