Palais Garnier

We’re here in Paris with Courtney this week, heading back to La Rochelle tomorrow. We’ve visited many of the usual sights, including la tour Eiffel, where we were able to stand on one of the sections of the new glass floor which just opened this week on the first level. Since it’s about 57 meters from the ground (American translation: about 187 feet), it was a little unnerving–and Courtney wouldn’t do more than put the toe of her shoe on it long enough to take a picture. She’s not a fan of heights, so the first level is as far as we went. On the plus side, no interminable line for the elevator to the summit.

One Paris treasure I had missed until now–Palais Garnier, also called Opéra Garnier–is right around the corner from our apartment, so we walked over there this morning.

Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier

Lots of gold here, too, like Versailles, but far fewer tourists. I think a few postponed their visit because the auditorium was off limits today, due to a rehearsal. Still absolutely worth it. I LOVED this place, especially the Grand Foyer, where the wealthy patrons used to chat each other up between acts (and maybe still do) . . .

Grand Foyer Palais Garnier
Grand Foyer Palais Garnier

Absolutely stunning.

Balcony Palais Garnier
Balcony Palais Garnier
Sun Room Palais Garnier
Sun Room Palais Garnier

I love the story of this room, the Sun Room–meant to be the vestibule of a future Smoking Room–and it’s companion, the Moon Room. In all the hurry to finish on time, there was a mistake and the decorative schemes of the two circular rooms were reversed. “So that’s why, if the Smoking Room were finished, you would go through ice to show that you are going to light a cigar, and through fire to show that you are going to eat a sorbet!” said the architect, Charles Garnier.

Fascinating place. There’s even a room with models behind glass of previous set designs:

Miniature Set Design
Miniature Set Design

It’s not all gold . . .

Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier

But it is all gorgeous, absolutely from top . . .

Ceiling Detail Palais Garnier
Ceiling Detail Palais Garnier

. . . to bottom, even the floor!

Floor Mosaic Palais Garnier
Floor Mosaic Palais Garnier

There seem to be fewer tourists, now that we’re into October, so my patience has had no big challenges this week, which is probably good, since that is not always my strong suit. But today I was inspired by this that David forwarded to me from Richard Rohr:

At the end of our street, which is called Five Points Road, five streets come together. The stoplight at this intersection seems interminably long. One day, as I was impatiently waiting and waiting for the light to turn green, I felt God saying to me, “Richard, are you really going to be any happier on the other side of Bridge Avenue?”

Now it has become my daily meditation place where I get to practice living right here, right now. If I can’t experience God and love and happiness and everything that matters in this impatient moment, I probably won’t experience it on the other side of Bridge Avenue either. As Catherine of Siena said, “It’s heaven all the way to heaven, and it’s hell all the way to hell!” ∼ Richard Rohr

Wishing you peace, patience, love and “everything that matters” no matter what side of the street you’re on!

 

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