After 3 days of nice weather, my luck finally ran out; when we woke up this morning, it was raining outside! It wan’t just few drops, it was raining non-stop the whole day. But good thing about Paris is that it has plenty to see indoors (I wished I saved Louvre for today but who can predict the weather!). I flipped to my 4-day museum pass (last day today) and went down the list of sights that are indoors for ideas.
But first, we went to Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) to see its magnificent Grand Staircase which I always wanted to see after seeing pictures of it in the web. Note that the entrance to the Opera House is actually located on the left side of the main entrance. You can’t get in from the main entrance!
Picture of the “main” entrance:
When facing the “main” entrance, walk to the left side and you’ll see the side entrance look like this, this is the entrance to the Opera House, see where the red flag is and a little line of people there:
We were very lucky that it was open to the public since there was no performance going on when we arrived. If it’s closed for visitors, ask the staff and they’ll gladly to tell you when to come back! Also for more information regarding opening times and admission visit their website: http://www.operadeparis.fr/en/pratique/visites/Palais_Garnier/
The line was minimal compared to other tourist sights in Paris! We went in and the first thing I saw was the stunning details of the ceiling.
Before I even realized it, I was walking up the Grand Staircase! The interior was lit up by beautiful candle-like lamps so it was romantically dim inside! The bronze sculpture lamps which I really like:
I kept taking photos while I was walking up the staircase, the details truly captured my eyes!
And when I reached the end of the staircase and looked back, woah..I couldn’t believe my eyes, I can’t describe my shocking reaction to it, take a look at the photos and you’ll know what I mean:
This opera house is the most beautiful opera house I ever seen! “The Grand Staircase” lives up to its name!
Then, we walked into a room that was dark but within a second someone turned on its ceiling chandelier and it was the auditorium and stage! I love the colorful painting of the ceiling (a famous painting by Marc Chagall) and the center chandelier:
I wondered how is it feel to watch an opera in this stunning opera house, must be a once-in-a-life time experience (I’ll plan for that next time!). Next we continued to explore the opera house, went through corridors and finally ended up in the room that I wanted to see the most – The Grand Foyer! When I first saw pictures of The Grand Foyer in the web, it gave me the “wow” feeling as Versaille’s Hall of Mirror. Seeing it in person was truly amazing!
The Grand Foyer is the most grand and beautiful hall I ever seen, I think I like it more than Versaille’s Hall of Mirror (my opinion only, not meant to upset fans of Hall of Mirror!).
After spending more than 1.5 hours in Palais Garnier, we went to have lunch and it was still raining out! Then, we took the metro to the Army Museum in Hotel National des Invalides. The Army Museum was organized and well planned from the earliest to the present time. We saw many armor, uniforms, and weapons. It was a good indoor museum to spend sometime when it’s raining out. Here are some photos:
Then we headed to Tomb of Napoleon which was inside a nice dome:
The raining day went by quickly and it was time for dinner. We made a reservation with Goumard (a high-end seafood restaurant) through The Fork. Goumard was nicely decorated inside, purple-theme, very elegant.
The waiter explained to us the 50% off from The Fork and there were only a few dishes that were excluded from the offer. My husband went crazy and wanted to try out this and that since he’s a seafood fans!
Appetizer we ordered the oysters (so many grades so we ordered the most expensive ones, husband said those are excellent), burgundy snails (first time we tried and those are alright) and a fish soup (it was okay not excellent):
Main course, we ordered the grilled fish (pretty good) and lobster “spaghetti” (was okay but I wasn’t impress):
Dessert, we ordered the pineapple macaroon (I felt it was too sweet for me) and the ice cream with marshmallow (good and creative):
With the 50% off, the bill came to be 99 euros excluding tips! It was a great and romantic atmosphere but the food was just okay. For the price we paid, I expect the food to be impressive. This is the most expensive dinner we had in Paris but not the best so sometimes price does not always equal to quality! We paid half the price at Le Reminet but 2X better quality. But at least we tried with 50% off 🙂