A day that Photoshop won't be able to brighten!

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End May 23, 2012

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Paris opera, the Palais Garnier, has a 2011 restaurant built into the former portico of the 1860's building. It is a masterful feat of modern architecture inserted into an old building without trying to disguise itself one bit as being anything but modern.

As an excuse to go in, explore and photograph, we head there for breakfast this morning. As could be expected in such a location, breakfast (a set price) is not a bargain here so it is with much disgust that we learnt that all pastries are sold. There is only bread left to accompany the juice and coffee! Luckily the juice is delicious and freshly squeezed and coffee is also good.

The photos show the architecture. The massive curved glass windows tickle my fancy, as do the motion-activated light show in the tap, soap and hand-drier unit in the toilets!

Outside, "il pleu"... in fact, it doesn't stop drizzling all day, making for miserable walking and grey, grey photos. Through the Tulleries to the Louvre to see the pyramid (another long queue, bypassed) then down to the Seine.

At this point, Liz and I split - she heads for the Musee D'Orsay that l have visited previously and I wander via the padlock-laden Ponts Des Arts towards Notre Dame and the Ile de St. Louis. More crowds queue at multiple entances and l am glad l have seen inside previously. Where have these crowds come from? Do they not know it's not high season yet?! Next Tuesday is the May Day public holiday and I wonder whether it's not only Australians that love to indulge in a long weekend aft all...

There is just the Pompidou centre remaining on my list, but trudging north in wet sneakers l find... another ridiculous queue across the forecourt. I am not prepared to stand in the rain by myself on a day when even Mr. Pompidou's edifice is colorless, so a return trip to Paris will have to be organised...

So it is home via the nearby Châtelet metro station. This was a monolith five years ago... Two levels of underground shops then the trains below - seven lines plus country trains. This time, I find a renovation near completion and trail down four escalators, up another, through at least 3 entry gates (waiting for a ticket machine to hoot loudly and bar me.) I still can't find pink Line 4 and picture myself spending the night in these tunnels! Rob and Liz - we had it easy last time! Somehow, the right sign appears and I am on my way...

So ditching my shoes and coat to stretch out back on my bed is heaven. Do I really have to go out again to get dinner?
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jo reaby on

Loved the colour of the macarons- its early sunday morning here and I am salavating!

So which ones did you try??

Loving your descriptions and photos. You take me back to Paris- albeit a greyer busier one. Are they ipad photos? Fab!
Glad to hear your eating your way through Paris. Hope it warms up a tad

Lisa Skillern on

Mmmm one of these days I will actually get there as opposed to hearing from those who have lived there or visited!! Architecture looks wonderful - totally inspirational for those glass postcards some friends do.
Enjoy the food - even the beds look to die for!

Dog on


Jacinta on

Blow the qeues! We had none at all in January, except for 20 mins to get up the Eiffel Tower! (love Europe in winter) Sounds like you are having a real adventure at any rate and if you have to line up in a city, well Paris sounds pretty good!

James on

luving ur travel notes JB. Takes me way back (unfortunately). I remember the glorious sunshine & warmth of Spain after a bleak northern Europe - I'm sure you'll lap it up. Fun travels, JF

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