L’Opera Garnier and the Louvre

Written by Sarah Yue ’19 to recount Monday, March 12, 2018:

Bonjour! This morning, we made our way to St. Do and recounted our “roses and thorns” from the weekend, which involves giving highlights and things that didn’t go so well. We then ventured into the canteen of the school to hear our itinerary for the day and to sample some French pastries that M. Lilly bought for us. As soon as we were done, we made our way to the metro to go to L’Opera Garnier. We met with our tour guide, Chloe, who already showed us around the Marais on our first full day in Paris. She was so knowledgeable about the history of the opera house and told us that people payed for the opera not for the art, but to socialize, gossip, and show off. The steps and ceilings were beautiful, and it was fun ascending the steps as if we were on our way to the show.

Everything was so beautiful and stunning. My favorite room in the opera house was “le coucher du soleil” which contained a beautiful ceiling and lights and mirrors on both sides of the room. The significant part was the addition of copper to the mirrors. It added the effect of the lights becoming more red as the reflections continued, providing the illusion of a sunset. We were treated to 20 minutes of free time and were able to explore the city around the opera house before heading back to the school for lunch.

After lunch, we took the metro to the Louvre and met with our guide, who showed us some of the most famous pieces of art in the museum. We saw the Mona Lisa (of course), Venus de Milo, The Victory of Samothrace, and Liberty Leading the People, which was my favorite because we learned about it in Modern European History class last year. After our tour, we were tasked with a scavenger hunt for certain items in the paintings, ending with the swimming team each getting a pastry (still waiting on the results…). That being said, we were all very motivated.

Our time passed quickly, and soon it was time to leave. We walked back to the metro station after a long but exciting and eventful day, and made our way back to St. Do to meet our corres and head back home. After school, I went to the Champs-Elysees to do some shopping for a little, and soon went home to eat dinner and rest up for the next day. We had such a good and eventful day, and I feel like we all learned so much!