YSL – What a day!

So remember how Versailles was our last day in Paris? Well, I had done some looking around and discovered that the first retrospective of Yves St. Laurant’s work would be shown at the Petite Palais in Paris, starting TODAY!  Well, this is heart stopping news for me.  So off I go, stand in line for over an hour, only to find that one must have an invitation for opening day.  No invitation for me.  I had asked all the right questions of my fellow queue-rs, “no, you don’t need a ticket in this line” they assured me!  “Yes, this is the right queue!”  Well, no, you don’t need a ticket – you just need an INVITATION!  The tears ran freely, I can tell you.

After that heartbreak, I decided to let the group go on to Normandy without me, and I would spend the day in Paris by myself, go see the YSL show, putter around, and buy myself a train ticket later to meet up in the North.  Well, it was a day of redemption, because it went beautifully, and I saw my first couture up close.  Over 300 pieces of his couture work, sketches, videos, 10 pieces that were worn by Catherine Denueve – just insane.  A dream come true to see such a show, in the city where he worked.

I found out that one is not supposed to take photos, but I had already snapped a few (without flash, of course! That was ok in the Louvre, but not for YSL – whoops!), so I’ll share just the few I took.  Hope no one important reads this.

Outside the Petite Palais. There he is!

The iconic logo inside.

I just can NOT believe I saw this Mondrian dress in person.

Guess who inspired this dress?! Matisse, yes...

3 hours in this exhibit – how lucky am I?  Good choice to go my own way today.  Besides, it made me really use my french quite a bit, because I was alone, and needed to get things done.

Then I strolled down towards the Louvre through the Tuilleries gardens…

not a bad place to walk.

… and on towards the opera house to find the grand department stores for more window shopping.  Also, the train station is behind all of this, and I needed to buy a ticket, so the Printemps was right on my way!  Here are the windows I was greeted with:

Can you guess what the window displays will be?!

This white rabbit is completely encrusted with roses!

They're late! late!

House of cards...

The big mushroom. Ahh, Alexander McQueen. So lovely. So sorry he's gone.

Time for tea.

Don't drink it!

Time for chess.

Alice and her books.

Oh Alice! What shoes you have!

More tea?

I just adore these windows – a very clever display.  I had to stand in front of each one for quite a while to get clear shots, because this was a super busy street, bustling with crowds.  I can thank my Nikon for the quick shutter speed and my delete button for getting rid of the many shots that had people in them.  On to the train station to find a ticket to Bayeux up north.

After I bought my train ticket - managed just fine in french, thank you very much, I sat outside on a bench and had a little snack.

After a 2 hour train ride into the French countryside, (saw lots of baby sheep!), we arrived in Bayeux, where I asked directions to our hotel at the little train station, and wandered my way into town.

There is a canal running through this medieval city.

I love these old European towns so much. You wind through a tiny street centuries old, come around a corner and Bam! Oh! Here's a cathedral!

A little street.

Something beautiful around every corner here.

Here's that canal again.

J was trying to take a picture of an old letterpress machine that was in use inside a little shop, but got my reflection in the glass instead.

It feels good to be in the country.  I was so worried to leave Paris for fear I didn’t see enough, and who knows when I’ll be back next (it has been 20 years since the last time after all), but after the satisfaction of the YSL retrospective, I’m glad we’re here, seeing a different side of French life.  Tomorrow we head to the beach- in our long underwear and fleece, of course, but the Normandy beaches will be something else, I’m sure.  Ciao for now……

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