Friday 6th November 2009
Having a slightly later start than planned today, we decided to skip Versailles for another day (probably my next visit – weekends are insane there) and went instead to the national library and the opera house.
The French National Library, located by the river quite some distance out (several long metro hops) is a large subterranean complex holding a copy of pretty much everything published in France. It is also home to several exhibitions including the permanent site of the “Globes of Louis XIV”; these massive spheres were created for Louis in 1681 and 1683 and show the Earth and night sky as perceived back in the late 17th century. Currently the library is also showing an exhibition of documentation relating to King Arthur – and amusingly they show the Holy Grail movie clips too.
Francois Mitterand is not dead – just on “deep” retirement.
After the library, we took the metro to the Opera Garnier which is a stunning building – the outside is decorative as with many Parisian buildings but the inside is remarkable. The pictures don’t do it justice. Unfortunately the ballet company were rehearsing so we couldn’t go into the main hall itself. Another day.