Visiting Monet in Giverny

Today I decided  to leave town and visit Monet at home in Giverny. 

I’ve been wanting to go here for some time – probably since Wendy  took  photos of the beautiful garden in black and white.

I had to go by tube to St Lazare station and get the fast train to Giverny. I took my time and got there in the early afternoon just as the rain stopped. 

It was beautiful and peaceful. The good thing about the colder weather is the tourist lines are not so bad.
I had a few hours wandering around the garden and the house and sitting watching people. I think I’m becoming invisible! Some Americans arrived and entered by the exit door to the house and I heard the women say “This is a funny entrance”! – not realising she was in the kitchen. 
Oh dear. 

I walked around the village of Giverny and saw the gallery there as well. It’s a lovely place to visit and as I love Monet’s work it was rather special. I even got to see the video about his life. 

Got back to Paris and went for a walk around the river and streets nearby as the lights were coming on and some of the streets have put up their Christmas lights .
Tomorrow after my haircut I’m going to visit the Champs-Elysees to see if the lights are up the yet. 

A night at the Opera

I bought a ticket to the opera (Tosca) at Bastille and went along on the number 69 bus, my favourite bus in Paris.

I dressed up! Not not really  but I did wear black with a coloured scarf. So I fitted right in. 

I got there early so I could have a “coup de champagne ” and watch the crowds arrive. 

They are a funny lot these French. I know there were some tourists there but there were lots of locals as well . Black is the colour de jour. but there was not  too much high fashion. However, there was one lady who was like Brisbane’s own Deborah “hat wearing to all occasions” Quinn; there was a woman with a severe white hair cut  that was so sharp. She married this with  bright red glasses, a coloured blouse, jacket and full skirt and funny high boots. Quite a look. Perhaps ran an art gallery? 
Another young thing had a pink thing shaped like a disc on her head. Fashion? Not sure. 
A few elegant ladies and a few young things showing some leg. 
Getting to your seat is quite a performance. There were no ushers to ask so when the bells rang people just lined up at the door nominated on their ticket. Now my ticket had 2nd balcony, which  I climbed to, and then door 11. No door 11. I went to the bar and asked the man there as there was no one else around and he said ‘go to door 13’ . Of course – why didn’t I think of that? I went in door 13 and then climbed up and then down till I reached row 5 . During the 2 intervals I exited by door 11 on 1st balcony. Easy when you know. 
Interval is quite different to interval at our Opera. Everyone rushes the bar but not always for that glass of champagne ……but for food. 
How do the French stay slim? They get into the food. They nibbled and munched on sandwiches, cheese , muffins and biscuits, ice creams and even apples. Quite a surprise. There are lots of bars and not the queues we see at the bar in our concert/ opera theatre where every one seems to need a drink . 
It’s also like a runway, not the crush we have at interval. It’s very spread out on a terrace that wraps the theatre. It’s more a promenade while munching on something.
However the toilets are just like home, crowded, but the toilets were very old with chipped seats. At the Paris Opera. I ask you – What’s happening!!!
At the end there were the usual number of curtain calls and lots of cheering from the crowd . 
The theatre cleared quickly all rushing, not for cars parked underground, but for public transport. Me included on the no 69 which took me home to the left bank via Rue Rivoli, the Louvre, over the Seine with a view of the Eiffel Tower then delivered me to Blv St Germaine where I got a phone call from Steve as I walked home. Happy Birthday Steve. Wish you were here.  
Tomorrow Monet’s house at Giverny.