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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Day 3

The plan for today was to visit the area around La Madeleine Church and to walk the Grand Boulevards to the magnificent Opera Garnier building.

All started well.  We emerged from the depths of the underground Metro system and voilà  --  there was the wonderful church dedicated to Mary Magdalen.  It looks more like an ancient Greek building as it's surrounded by 20 metre high Corinthian columns:

The Madeleine Square is famous for it's up-market food shops.  Fauchon is known as the millionaires' supermarket, so Daryl went straight there.

We walked out empty-handed because we wanted to keep our wallets fat, not our waists!  (We know what you're thinking ..... fermé la bouche!)

After leaving Place de la Madeleine we walked, with great expectations, to the Opéra Quarter  --  it's like a combination of Toorak and the Arts precinct in Melbourne.  The Opéra Garnier is a magnificent building reflecting the opulence of the day.  It's promoted internationally as a tourist attraction and is open to the public every Friday.  We planned our itinerary accordingly.

You might notice that we have no photos of the magnificent interior with marble and chandeliers, etc.  Why?  Because, on a tatty piece of cardboard on a gate blocking the entry was a notice reading:
"Closed Today."  When we inquired, we were told that it was closed for a wedding.  A wedding!!!  When they advertise it as a major tourist attraction open every Friday, it should be open every Friday!  People from all around the world come to visit this incredible building.  The rich bitches can have their weddings on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. Friday is for the tourists!!!  (And can you imagine how much it cost to hire this venue for a wedding?)

What to do after such disappointment?

Well, the Galeries Lafayette (Lafayette shops) are right behind the Opéra Garnier building, so we trudged over there.  Took some photos of the incredible stained glass ceiling, but not in the mood to shop.  (Come to think of it, we're never in the mood to shop.)

But here's a picture of the inside of this building ...

and the outside:

Mid-afternoon, we set off for the Louvre Museum, knowing that it was open until late on Fridays. Well, it's a challenge to do the Louvre in anything less than a week, but the next post will show you what we saw there.

See you at the Louvre (next post).

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