We started this day with the discovery of the bakery Le Notre in our Bastille neighborhood, which was a bad, crazy, dangerous thing. Once you taste their pomme chaisson, you're sort of broken for life, as David found out. I think he almost had an out-of-body experience whilst eating it. We just found out that, strangely, Le Notre has a bakery at the Las Vegas Paris resort and we are going there NEXT WEEK for the express purpose of eating their baked goods. Now, if only we could get some Fauchon love over here, we'd be set. Annnnyway, that morning we went back to the Opera Garnier to get the full behind the scenes tour in English.
Charles Garnier worked his name into the design on the ceiling.
Beautiful nymph of Apollo
The colorful, cacophonous Chagall ceiling in greater detail
View from the Orchestra seats
I waited very patiently through the tour and finally, feeling like Pee-Wee at the Alamo, had to ask where Box Five was. The guide was great and while pointing it out, started to tell the tale of the Phantom and a young singer named Christine.
The Grand Foyer by day
The view from Box Five
Box Five door marker. I wish I had this for my own door.
With that, we bade this beautiful place farewell...
...and made our way to the Louvre.
Venus de Milo
Winged Victory of Samothrace, absolutely stunning in real life.
This looks somewhat familiar, but I can't remember the name.
We had a really wonderful Louvre-going experience, even though we were utterly exhuasted and sick. We made it through every wing and covered most galleries, all in an afternoon. Some standout pieces for me were Delaroche's La Jeune Martyre and Delacroix's Liberty Leading The People, among many, many others.
We had this amazing experience where we were extremely tired but decided to go through one more gallery. It was very late and there was almost no one left in the entire museum. We got to the very last room at the end of the very last hallway, when we heard some young people discussing a painting. This painting, in fact. Rousseau's L'allée des Châtaigniers, the Alley of the Chestnuts. They were speaking in an elevated manner and we soon realized they were actually actors performing guerilla theatre. They were there simply to discuss and praise the painting. As our attention was drawn to it, we were pulled further in to its mystery. That link does it absolutely no justice. It's a dark, sprawling piece that pulls you in and takes you down the Road Less Travelled. Because they were speaking in French, we only caught pieces of what they were saying technically, but the tone was what was important. They seemed to speak of the human condition, of finding life and light in the darkness, and loving the mystery of what lies ahead on that long, beautiful path.
We left feeling blessed and exhilarated by that perfect moment of happenstance and synchronicity.