Lights, Camera, OPERA!

September 14, 2009

What a stressful breakfast! I just ate with my host brother Tiburce, and while he is very kind (and very smart) he speaks very very quickly! Therefore I can only understand about a quarter of what he says, and I am always so frazzled from just trying to understand that I am completely incapable of forming coherent responses. I may have to take back what I said about my French being exponentially better since I’ve been here!

Mais mes problems ne sont pas le sujet pour aujourd’hui! Instead I have a series of success stories about my first Sunday in Paris! Though unfortunately none of the success stories are in the linguistic arena. C’est la vie!

Major success of note: I used the métro, alone, and I even had to change lines, and I made it without a single problem. Now this may not sound like a big feat, but I consider it a personal victory. For a girl who has grown up on dirt roads and only ridden a subway on 3 vacations, I did a very good job! Especially since some of you know how directionally challenged I am!  Here’s a photo of my friend Alanna in the Concord métro stop, on the way back home. It’s a little grainy, but I just want to show off how cool the Paris métro is!

What do all the letters mean?

What do all the letters mean?

I should explain that this métro adventure had a purpose. Another JYF participant named Gabe invited me and a group of others to meet him at one of the Opera houses of Paris, Le Palais Garnier. Everyone else was too far behind and since we wanted to get our visit in before the Opera house was closed, it ended up just being Gabe, Adam, et moi. While we had to pay 4 euro to get in, the astonishing beauty and opulence was well worth it.

Detail of statue outside of the building, with pigeons, of course.

Detail of statue outside of the building, with pigeons, of course.

Statues on the roof

Statues on the roof

As you can see, even the outside of the building is breathtaking. I’m not usually a fan of huge panoramic views, so I don’t have a shot of the whole building, but it was enormous! Imagine statues like in the pictures above absolutely everywhere in front of and on top of a very tall and very wide building with golden lettering on the front…it was almost too fantastic to be real, but then we went inside, and the awe really set in! By far the most magnificent things were the light fixtures (hence the “lights” in the title”) and the ceilings surrounding the lights. They should give you rolling carts to lie down on!

Light in le grand escalier

Light in le grand escalier

The colors are better in person

Another hall

Gabe and Adam overlooking le grand escalier

Gabe and Adam overlooking le grand escalier

Looking up at one of the light fixtures

Looking up at one of the light fixtures

Anything for a good photo!

Anything for a good photo!

By far my favorite ceiling

By far my favorite ceiling

"Le plafond de Chagall" on the ceiling in the auditorium

"Le plafond de Chagall" on the ceiling in the auditorium-possibly more of a favorite ceiling than the previous photograph.

Me in my Paris bedroom...okay it was at the Opera house, but maybe someday!

Me in my Paris bedroom...okay it was at the Opera house, but what a great piece of furniture!

The incredible detail and wealth of art was seemingly never ending. While this is a lot of pictures, I had a hard time leaving many more out. There were art exhibits with fantastic paintings and a really lovely sculpture…I have to put in a picture of the sculpture, because it made me think of my cousin Eddie, who is a ballet dancer!

IMG_2678

I forgot to mention that le Palais Garnier is where one would go to see most of the large ballet performances in Paris. At the end of September “Giselle” starts and supposedly students can get a discount on the ticket price. I am already planning on going! I just have to figure out the logistics.

We met up with the rest of our group after the opera tour, and we all continued our day with a visit to La Madeleine, which is an absolutely enormous Catholic church, as you can see in the photograph! It was very beautiful inside as well, but I generally abstain from taking pictures inside of churches since I feel like it’s distracting to people who are trying to pray. Even though I was just there to visit, after leaving I felt very calm and serene-the silence and the flickering prayer candles definitely brought on a feeling of peace. Once I’m settled in I want to actually start going to services in the different churches and cathedrals-there’s actually a surprising number of students who want to come with me. I really love that my group of friends finds church visits and art as entertaining as I do!

I backed up as far as I could without standing in the street-but it was just too big!

I backed up as far as I could without standing in the street.

I am exhausted, (since I started this entry I have walked around the city, eaten, had a class, and retrieved my second suitcase) so I will wrap this up. But I will update soon, since there are always many more things to tell! I’ll leave you all with some pictures of our time being young and foolish in the Place de la Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries. A bientôt!

Caroline and Andy in a very touristy photo

Caroline and Andy in a very touristy photo

Adam and Gabe sharing a Nutella crepe!

Adam and Gabe sharing a Nutella crepe!

Caroline snacking and Aisha talking: this happens a lot!!!

Caroline snacking and Aisha talking: this happens a lot!!!

-Ps. For those of you who are in these pictures and reading my blog, I apologize if you find these photos embarassing, and I adore you all!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: