Saturday, September 7, 2013

Lunch with Paris Friends and the Bastille Opera House

Out the door by 9:30 am this morning for our trip to Maison-Laffitte, a bedroom community just outside of Paris where friends who I met on a trip to Australia in 2006 live with their two small children.   Both work in Paris but enjoy the good life of a small village to raise their children.  Nine is now 4 years old and Leonel has just turned two this past week.  We’ve enjoyed watching them grow over the years as we visit almost every year. 

We arrived a few minutes after 11 am and walked to their home that is just across the street from the weekly market.  We always go to the market for the food for the lunch to start our day and then Maeliss prepares a wonderful French feast for us to enjoy!  It was nearly 4 pm by the time we left for our journey back into Paris.  While we were there I also learned to tell the difference between a common garden snail and a snail that is good to eat…they had both of them in their garden!  We also enjoyed tomatoes from their garden for our lunch.   I’ve also broadened my appreciation of good cheese as there is always a cheese course before dessert that features four or five different types of cheese.   Both   Jim loves to talk politics with Nicolas but Nicolas wants to talk about USA politics and Jim wants to talk about French politics!  So we have a happy mix of both.   We always look forward to spending a day with them when we’re in Paris.
Maeliss and Nicolas are attorneys and use the English language every day in their work so we are fortunate in that it is easy to communicate with each other.
Nicolas walked us to the Metro Station and helped us find the fastest way back into the city as we were running late for our planned visit to the Bastille Opera House.  We took the RER Train all the way to the Gare de Lyon and then caught the Metro to the Bastille.  Worked perfectly and we arrived with ten minutes to spare.  They offer a tour of the back stage and seating area every Saturday at 5:00 pm.   The kicker is that it is all in French but it was great getting to see all of the many huge rooms where they store and build their sets for the various productions.  We even got to see King Kong that is starting next week. 
Most of the Operas are performed here and the ballet is generally performed in the Opera Garnier that we toured last spring.  That one was very baroque and this one is extremely modern.
Caught the bus home and rushed to eat and change and then took the Metro back to the Latin Quarter to see a Concert.  But, when we arrived we found out it had started at 6:30 pm.  Oops…we did it again!  So we walked over to Notre Dame Cathedral and walked through for the first time on this trip.  It was closing so had to rush.  But we enjoyed the sunset from the bridge and I hope you enjoy the photos on the slideshow: 

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