naurwenseaflame: (Paris Eiffel Tower)
By popular demand - here's the first Opéra Garnier photos entry... *waves @ Nicole* ;D
There will be another separate one - I've just too many pics of the Opéra and can't decide. LOL




Hidden in the Opéra Garnier... Salamander
Hidden in the Opéra Garnier...
... are many beautiful corners... :)
Salamander
This one, so I was once told there, was placed there to protect the Opéra from fire...
Lights... Night...?
Lights...
I *always* take pictures of those... It all just looks so dramatic and beautiful.
Night...?
... nope, it's just the difference between taking the photo using a flash or not... as you can see in the next picture. :)
Light! And once again...
Light!
And without using a flash... :)
And once again...
... view from the grand stairway...
Christine... Christine... The Dancer...
Christine... Christine...
... those of you who are familiar with the story of the Phantom of the Opera: I found this picture hung up on the 1st floor I think... her name is Christine Nilsson, and here she's shown as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette... Unfortunately no dates were given here. But it DID make us go whoooops... Christine... Nilsson being a Swedish name... and her being a dancer (as it's presumed she was a dancer and not a singer)... Um?
The Dancer...
... Daniela! :) Unfortunately most of my pictures of her turned out not too well, but this one's a fine one. :) We might just have to go back there and do another little photo shoot... :D
Plotting by the Phantom's Loge Waiting...
Plotting by the Phantom's Loge
We were checking out either the métro map or the map of Paris when Mum took this photo... :D Sitting near the loge number 5, the Phantom's loge (it's the one by the corner).
Waiting...
... for Eric? Daniela in front of loge number 5. :D
Waiting, too... Inside...
Waiting, too...
... and me in front of loge number 5. Well, me and a couple of orbs?
Inside...
... the grand chandelier is so bright it's really difficult to take a good photo of it...
Especially for Nicole... Hunting...
Especially for Nicole...
... because there's a pidgeon. LOL
Hunting...
... this is a gobelin. It's absolutely fantastic, it looks like a painting really, but it's all gobelin. Trust me, I peered at it long enough. There are a couple of those in the Opéra.
Fairy! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Fairy!
I'd never noticed this painting before! Duh!
Gold! Gold! Gold!
It's all gold in the Opéra. Almost all. :)



We spent a nice long time inside the operahouse... and enjoyed it very much. :)
Didn't take a tour as we really know all there is to hear on those tours by now. We walked here and there and explored every corner. Mum sometimes stayed at a place and did some drawing while Daniela and me walked on, then came back for her... and at some point we did the ballett-photo shoot with Daniela.
I hope her pics of it turned out better than mine. *argh* But I've at least one good one!

This operahouse is the one where the story of *the Phantom of the Opera* is set.
You may have heard about it due to the famous (and beautiful) musical, or the musical-movie, or some of the other movies that have been made (in my opinion the one with Charles Dance as the Phantom is the best one there - it's the only one that catches the characters, the mood and that was actually filmed in this very operahouse. It differs from the original story, but that doesn't really matter to me... as it's a good *other version* of it.).
The original story came from he book (same title) by Gaston Leroux. :)
I can proudly say I chose exactly that book for my French diploma at DMS. *grin* Obsessed? Moi? ;D
Anyways... there have always been hints about that *something* once has happened there... like there *did* exist someone named Christine as well as some man who was disfigured, etc.
There are no proofs I guess, or none that are known of, anymore.
Mum and me once were given a private guided tour by an ex-ballett dancer of the opera. It was luck (...) really that we met her there and she offered it to us. She worked there anyway and seemed to like the idea of it, plus she spoke some German which made it easier for us. She showed us many hidden corners there that nowadays you'd never get to see (well, back then actually neither) - and it's something I'll never forget!!!
And before I go into too much detail: She said that once there was a room found in one of the very thick walls of the building, when renovations were made, and that it was like a room where someone had lived or at least stayed in secretly. There was some furniture and some such. But it hadn't been entered in years. And that a grave was found in the stone-floor where they found the remains of a male with a disfigured face. There were no papers that could have said who he was, what his name was, etc, the only thing that had stayed intact was a golden wedding ring with the name *Christine* engraved into it.
Now you can make of this whatever you like. I can say that our *guide* didn't seem the excited story-telling kind, she kind of told this matter of factly and shrugged like... well, that's what happened. And she only ever told us after we'd asked her, at the end of our tour...

Hmh!
naurwenseaflame: (Default)
For your info...: I'm sick (tummy? maybe a tummy-flu?), I'm at home and crawling around... but at least I'm managing to upload some more photos.
I got a doc's appointment for Friday as he's not around on Thursday at all... guess that means I'll be done for the rest of the week with not going to work at all.
I can't see myself going to work tomorrow right now anyway...

ANYWAY...
Paris!


At the Champs-Elysées And this explains...
At the Champs-Elysées
Le tigre and the leopard wanted to have pics taken there, too!
And this explains...
... how the *little travellers* got so high up... LOL Daniela was holding them up. Ah yes, and those two are HER travelleres. The *battle mouse* (right) and the wolf dressed up as a sheep (yes... and on the left).
La Pyramide inversée The Louvre
La Pyramide inversée
Inside the Louvre where you can see these two special pyramids. If you've seen the movie The Da Vinci Code you might remember them? And that would be my mum and le tigre and the leopard. :)
The Louvre
... in the evening :)
Louvre and the Pyramids Métro Station
Louvre and the Pyramids
Details...
Métro Station
I love those *old* stations, art-nouveau style entrance...
Cheers! Sushi!
Cheers!
And that would be beer... yes, they do have some beer-foam on their noses. :D
Sushi!
I. Want. A. Sushi. Delivery. Here!!! Or good sushi at all, that is!
Ice cream!!! Zzzzzzzzz
Ice cream!!!
As you can see I *always* have to share my food and drink with that little one... *sigh*
Zzzzzzzzz
They all shared the spare bed in Daniela's hotel room... :D
Roseline...
Roseline...
... one of the marks, near the Louvre... again... seen Da Vinci Code? Then you will definitely know what this one is about. :)



A bit of a smaller entry here...
Here we went to the *Carousel du Louvre* which is the underground area there - there are shops, little cantine-like restaurants and it's the entry to the Louvre museum. We went there for something little to eat and had those FAB French *macrons*... YUM!
We strolled around the area, spotted some of the *Roseline* marks... took photos... shopped in the crafts area of the Virgin store (no, no virgins on sale there, not that I'd know of... it's mainly a media store, but also sells lots of books, paper stuff... etc.) which is small but has some nice goodies...

The Champs Elysées we visited a couple of times...
Also once in the late evening as it's beautiful lit up in the night... and there are cafés and restaurants you can go to as well as shops which are open until 11pm, so you definitely won't get bored there.
Besides... I love walking down the Champs Elysées from the Arc de Triomphe, down to the Louvre. It's a longer walk and really nice. :)
We dashed into *Sephora* twice which is cosmetics, make up, perfumes. Many brands, but also their own stuff which all three of us like a lot. Mum was looking for a certain eyelinger, special green-ish metallic gold colour which is the exact colour of her glasses (frames!) and which she once had bought there... and she got a similar one. :)
The ladies at the shop are really friendly and helpful. Yeah, sure, they're trying to sell as much stuff as possible, but I found they weren't pushy or anything - it was really nice to be able to ask about something and to actually being shown stuff in a friendly way, they were taking their time for you and even if you ended up only one thing that wasn't expensive at all - it didn't matter.
Can someone please teach sales people *here* such behaviour?
Here I prefer not to ask at all as I either just get a *dunno* (if lucky with a carefless shrug) or some unfriendly comment. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Hmh... my next Paris entry will be a real treat - Opéra Garnier visit. :D
naurwenseaflame: (Paris Eiffel Tower)
Mes Amis...

more photos of our Paris adventures! :)


We Walked To The Eiffel Tower... Views on the Seine...
We Walked To The Eiffel Tower...
... right from the Bois du Boulogne... So for once I approached it from right the other side. :) I really like how this photo turned out.
Views on the Seine...
... we took a boat tour on the Seine - it really gives you a different perspective and view on the buildings near the river. It was evening then so all photos are a little dark... Here you can also see one of the many boats - we never found two boats looking the same! They're all different.
On a Bridge... A Home?
On a Bridge...
... a view you can only get this close to from a boat...
A Home?
One of the boats on the Seine that looked like a houseboat to me... some of them had even more plants on them, real little gardens. :)
An Island... Notre Dame...
An Island...
... and I love the Willows here!
Notre Dame...
... viewed from the Seine. I'm not much into cathedrals and such, but I really like Notre Dame. :)
Sky! The Musée d'Orsay...
Sky!
I loved the way the clouds looked so dramatic here so I took the photo even though it was right against the sunlight...
The Musée d'Orsay...
... which once was a train station...
And it ended by the Eiffel Tower... Eiffel Tower Ornaments...
And it ended by the Eiffel Tower...
... the boat tour. :)
Eiffel Tower Ornaments...
... that's why i like this *modern* building - the details.
Hilarious!!!
Hilarious!!!
OK, I know this is so NOT *en style* to post this here, but come ON... this was at a really nice restaurant on the Champs Elysées... we had lunch there... delicious salmon and fruit cocktails... And imagine then you, um, go to the toilet as people do and you find a cabin with TWO toilets. It's like *hang around and chat with a friend* or something. LOL!!! I just had to take the photo.



So what more's to say...
To take a boat trip on the Seine is really worth it, even if it's the very touristy thing to do. I know *someone* on here really will go *bleurgh, boats!*. LOL
It might be nice to go on a late evening trip, too...

We took the boat trip the day after the concert, when we were all tired and crawling around... :)

More photos to come of course... ;)
naurwenseaflame: (Default)
Mes Amis...

My first photos of Paris... of the first evening and then Saturday / Sunday...


The Smallest Elevator In The World! Looking into Daniela's Hotel Room
The Smallest Elevator In The World!
In our hotel near the Opéra Garnier - it's meant for up to 2 persons. I think even ONE person has trouble breathing in there. Trust me - I've travelled with it twice. LOL So... we first went up to the 4th floor where our two rooms were one by one and then the monsieur at the reception desk put our luggage into the elevator and sent it up. *LOL*!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Looking into Daniela's Hotel Room
LOL - our rooms were sort of opposite of each other, around the corner, so we could have thrown stuff into each other's room. ;) This is Daniela in her room. :) And don't missunderstand the slightly shabby look of the house's wall - many buildings, hotels, in Paris would look like that but they're nice inside. It's a bit of a general thing. Besides - this was the look into the internal courtyard of the hotel building.
Internal Courtyard of the Hotel Opéra Garnier - by night
Internal Courtyard of the Hotel
They always make a pretty place out of the tiniest spaces. This courtyard belongs to the hotel and is right by the breakfast dining area.
Opéra Garnier - by night
We'd arrived after 7pm, went to the hotel first to unpack and shower, then went out for dinner... and our walk lead us to the beautiful building of the Opéra Garnier of course as it was so close to our hotel... To those who might not know - it's the phantom's opera as in *Phantom of the Opera*... the story having been firstly told in Gaston Leroux' novel and later re-told in movies and the famous musical. :) *adores*
Opéra Garnier - 2 Music-themed Details of the Opéra's Street Lights
Opéra Garnier - 2
There's the difference if you use flash with your camera (here) or not (previous pic)...
Music-themed Details of the Opéra's Street Lights
If in Paris - always look for details. There are so many!
Fragonard Quelque Chose A Manger?
Fragonard
This is very much worth a visit - a (free) guided tour in this building (it's wonderful inside!!!), telling you the story of parfum-making... It's fascinating and you get to try and sort scents yourself. Back many years ago a professional parfum-maker had to know 5000 scents, by now it's many, many more. http://www.fragonard.com/ I bought their *Etoile* - it's wonderful! :)
Quelque Chose A Manger?
Hungry anyone?
Le Tigre et Mylène On the Way to the Bois du Boulogne
Le Tigre et Mylène
My tiger is such a fan, too! :) This shop, tiny music shop in Paris, sells many special editions and unique and rare stuff of a couple of singers... Mylène included. The guy in there was really nice and helpful, all excited we'd be going to the concert at the Stade de France that very night. :) As you might have guessed from the pictures here Mylène's art is somewhat... unusual.
On the Way to the Bois du Boulogne
The Bois du Boulogne is a huge very *green* area of Paris, as in a huge park. A nice meeting place, jogging area, picnic area, whatever really. A big oasis in a huge city. :) I loved the houses here... It's also an area where you have to be able to afford to pay slightly more to live there.
Bois du Boulogne... Bois du Boulogne - Island
Bois du Boulogne...
... I love finding art, sculptures, somewhere hidden in parks...
Bois du Boulogne - Island
This restaurant is on the island of the large lake in the Bois du Boulogne. You can get there by using this boat which looks like a garden-made-into-a-boat. LOL
Splash? Je suis inkognito!
Splash?
A couple and a dog in a boat... No, they didn't fall into the water in the end - not even the dog. :)
Je suis inkognito!
LOL - Daniela tried to hide from the paparazzi (moi). ;) - At the restaurant on the island...



The train journey with the TGV train which really is super-fast went really well - we arrived in Paris sometime after 7pm, took the métro (=underground) to the hotel which was only about 4 stations and then checked in.
One funny thing about Paris: The hotel elevators are TINY. They just are and that's that. Once you know that, it doesn't really matter. It's just a surprise when you're there for the first time.
Now... THIS hotel's elevator was beyond tiny. It was like - squash yourself against the wall of it so the doors can close and hope you don't get stuck. LOL
People at the hotel were really nice and charming and our room were comfy - and since Paris really wears you out we slept like stones every single night!

Saturday... was the day of Mylène's concert at the Stade de France, so we had breakfast and then went to Fragonard:
http://www.fragonard.com/
I love their *Etoile* perfume. It was Daniela who'd discovered it, but it smells completely different on both of us. That's the interesting thing about perfumes. :)
Then we went to this tiny music shop where Daniela got two special editions of Mylène's latest Maxi single and we got some nice photos of the current tour as well...
We had some nice Indian lunch and then headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to the concert.

I have no pics of the Stade de France as none of us took their camera with us.
I'll post a mobile-phone-made pic sometime later.
We got to the Stade de France which is H.U.G.E - loads of people were there, spread around the Stade waiting to be let in. There are entrances all around the Stade, named in alphabetical order - we had to wait at *S*. We couldn't find the end of the queue as it meshed with *T* so we asked where we should stand and the guys we asked were like bah, just sit here beside us, doesn't matter. This way we were really close to the entrance!
Daniela had brought 3 boxes of light-sticks which we gave to the people standing around us - it was Mylène's birthday that day and via a facebook message it was suggested to bring green-ish lightsticks to the concert as well as decided after which song we all should sing *joyeuse anniversaire* (happy birthday) - one has to love the internet for organizing stuff like that!!!
People were really happy they got our freebie sticks. ;D
Quite soon we were let into the hall and made a dash for the *catwalk* - there was a huge stage as well as a catwalk leading into the audience, ending in a *star*. We stood near the star, 3rd row. People were really nice and chatty, no pushing at ANY time during the concert - this way it was plain enjoyable!!! :D
It was an open-air concert so no problem with fresh air either AND the weather stayed nice and warm, perfect!

The concert started with Bale de Rua, some of their dance performances:
http://balederua.lespectacle.fr/

Then there was a small break... the stage itself was the biggest that had been put up in Europe... the Stade was sold out, around 75'000 people - and what an atmosphere!!!!!!!!!!! :D
It was something I'd never thought I'd take part in when I saw Mylène for the first time on MTV when I was just a kid... about 8 or 9 years old, when we'd only just arrived in Switzerland as refugees with no money and basically no nothing! It was an incredbile feeling to be there and to just think for a moment - hey, I've made it THAT far! F*** everyone who's tried to stop me, to put stones in my way, who's told me I'm just a dumb foreigner kid! T.H.E.R.E.!!!

I'm not going to go into every detail of the concert - don't worry. ;)
I know it's a fan-thing.
But it was incredible and great and WOW.
Mylène's got a way of making it really personal - maybe that's the reason why she tours very, very rarely and if then only a couple of concerts and that's that.
The songs were brilliant, the atmopshere was brilliant, when she went down the catwalk and her pianist was playing there (the piano was on the *star*) we got ready to wave our light-sticks and after she'd sung the song we'd been paying extra-attention for 75'000 people sang happy birthday to her. She really tried but I guess she had no chance - she started crying and it took her some time to calm again and then to sing again.
One huge moment of the concert - for me - was the very end, when she sang *Desenchantée* which was the very first song I'd known by her. It was an extra-long version of it and it absolutely ROCKED. The whole Stade pulsed with its beat, it was incredible!!! :D Nicole - Daniela and me rocked for you too there! ;D

And then it was over...
Slightly dazed we went to get Daniela's banner from where she'd hung it up and walked towards one of the exits when we saw the mobile cameras swinging by - so we held it up again and the camera came back to us and *took a closer look*. LOL It was actually cute. :)
Who knows - the whole concert has been filmed, it'll be on DVD at some point, maybe you'll spot us there. The banner said *Merci Mylène*, so... it would be a fitting picture for the end of the concert...

We went to one of the souvenir stalls then to get our goodies and among others I've got SUCH a cool raincoat now, red and black with the *MF* initials which of course aren't just Mylène's initials but MINE, too. HEEHEEH!!! :D

Then we got one of the last métros back to the hotel...

I think we slept like stones until way late...
And on Sunday we made it a very lazy day and went to the Bois de Boulogne for a walk and something to drink... and later went on a boat-tour on the Seine... but those photos I'll post later. :)

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naurwen

January 2012

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