Versailles.

Today up early and on my way to Versailles. All very easy. I just walked two blocks to get the train and I was on my way with a train load of others in the rain. 

It took about 40 mins and I thought I was clearly going to avoid the crowd by going on a Friday – a lower crowd day. Not so. I had per bought my ticket so was ready to hop to the front and found the queue already a mile long. It was raining and cold and I could sympathise with the whining children in front of me. 
Finally got in and the crowds were almost unbearable. We shuffled through and I tried to enjoy myself but it was hard. It eased a little around the fantastic hall of mirrors but not much. I revived by having tea at Angelina, the famous Salon de The.  Then I strolled the large galleries of art before deciding to tackle the gardens. I went out and it was raining and cold so I decided I had seen some great gardens already and Marie Antoinette’s house at the far end of the garden I would look at in movies. I had seen it in 1977 so perhaps it was the same? 

I got the train back to Paris as I had another Opera at 7.30 and I wanted to look my best – not all wind blown. 

Got ready and this time took the metro and got there early so went across the road to look at the special Art exhibition set up in the gardens opposite the Opera House Bastille. Some great art and some way out art. 
I then found my seat. Amazing but no one at the door to check you in? The bell had just gone and not an usher in sight.
Anyway my seat tonight was in the 2nd row, 2nd balcony. Great view. Had a lovely lady from ” the village of Montmarte” as she so charmingly put it next to me. She was elegant and lovely and then her friend arrived and they were both charming. They told me a friend had moved to Brisbane but “it did not agrees with her. She was scared of zee snakes”. I told them it was not unusual to find snakes in the garden, but we were used to them. They looked amazed. 
Then the young man on the other side joined in and I had another new friend. He was on his own as his wife was away and doesn’t like Opera. He was about 30 and was very sweet. I spent interval talking to them and they were all really lovely. The Opera -“Daughter of the Regiment” – was really good. It was a great production and my new friends told me the director and the conductor were well regarded. It was a good production but was in French as were the subtitles – not a word of English, so even though I knew what was going on I missed a lot. There were quite a lot of spoken lines as it was a fairly light opera. One particularly good solo – by the heroine who was to be separated from her new love – brought tears to more than a few eyes. The lady next to me sobbed and was mopping her eyes for several minutes after. The French are so demonstrative! Not usually! 
It ended happily, as all operas do, and down came the French style crowd and cock a doddle dooed . It brought the house down. 
I took the no 69 bus home past the Louvre over the bridge with the view of the Eiffel Tower down Bve St Germaine and I was home.  

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