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So seeing the Paris Opera Ballet and orchestra perform Swan Lake (three times!) was a dream come true.  (The mini-subscription I sprung for early last year was well worth the ability to get tickets to additional performances before they went on sale to the public.)  The swans were magical, and the entire production was magnificent.  I won’t nerd out about the dancing here, other than to mention that the male leads were particularly extraordinary on the first and third nights.

And the rest of the trip, other than the not sleeping and sad eating parts, was highly enjoyable, with early December having certain advantages.   It was lovely to visit L’Orangerie, the Musee Cluny, the Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Musee des Arts et Metiers with few tourists, virtually no lines for the museums, and room to breathe (except the air quality was very poor the first four days I was there, but as a result the transit was free).  I liked riding the bus more than the Metro.  I got to practice my rudimentary French.  (It is getting better.)  The Medici Fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens was my favorite place of beauty, other than the stage of the Opera Bastille and Monet’s water lilies in L’Orangerie.  The apartment was in a lovely neighborhood and had a nice view.


There are photos here that I will probably never get around to organizing.

The one disappointment was that I did manage not sit in a cafe and sketch.  Surprisingly, I also drank no wine (wanted to keep my wits about me being a solo traveler, until that very last night and then cider was what beckoned).

And of course I want to go back.

If the stars align, I’m going to do so for just a few days, before heading to …


Because, after all, I still have that last ticket in my mini-subscription to see La Sylphide at the Palais Garnier in July, the one I was planning to resell or just consider a sunk cost, since I really didn’t expect to return to Paris in 2017.  But Swan Lake at La Scala also happens in July, and the real water lilies in Monet’s garden begin blooming in July.  And it’s not going to get easier to travel and I’m not going to get any younger.



  1. I think that is such a great plan! And thank you so much for the birthday card which I got today (no idea what day it went into my mailbox, I was out of town hanging out with cows).!

    • Thanks, I’m pretty thrilled with deciding to go for it… the Paris part will depend on actually getting a La Scala ticket (which I understand sell out quickly – have the Swan Lake sale date marked on my calendar) for a certain date… otherwise I’ll still aim for later in July in Milan without Paris. But fingers crossed I can swing both. Oh yay, glad the card made it and hope the cow retreat was restful and restorative! ________________________________

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By At long last, the swans | the view from a room on 16 Jul 2017 at 10:43 am

    […] Milan, more specifically seeing Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake at La Scala, was the impetus for this whole trip. […]

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