26. Chagall’s Opera Ceiling

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Paris, France

Its strange, when you get to go to a city like Paris, with so much amazing art and architecture you eventually get numb to it. Its sensory overload. Oh theres the Eiffel Tower, amazing! And the Louvre! And the Mona Lisa! Eventually these great human masterpieces loose some of their oomph. Then you see something like Chagall’s Opera Ceiling in the Palais Garnier, the Opera House of Paris.

When I first walked into the Opera House, my jaw hit the floor. Normally in a building like this you would expect the ceiling to be a classical style fresco of naked angels dramatically posed and swirling clouds spinning around the figures. Instead you are blasted with this colorful and abstract scene of Paris. I was stunned, it was the last thing I expected to see there.

Getting into the Opera was an ordeal. We had tickets for a tour that started at 4 PM (Note we were also taking a tour on my birthday). The ticket explicitly stated that you had to be there before 4 in order to get into the Opera house. As my travel companions can attest to, we were there at 3:55 PM. As we were going through the security checkpoint a manager came over and told us sorry the Opera house was closed. After explaining to him that we had tickets for a tour and that we had to be there before 4 PM, the manager looked at his watch said it was after 4 (even though it wasn’t) and threw us out of the building.

At first we were defeated. But after a bit of brainstorming and some delicious cookies I had in my bag we decided to go back in and fight for a refund. One hilarious argument with the Opera House Manager later and we managed to get tickets for the next day. Even though I’m still mad about getting rejected when we were there on time, I feel like part of being in Paris is getting into an argument with an arrogant Frenchman.

Photo taken on: March 27th, 2016 12:41 PM

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