May 4

Today is a special day for me. Therefore, I wanted to visit the top of the Arc de Triomphe and get a top-down view of life – with a perspective.
The climb to the top was somewhat arduous, but that's how life is.
The reward was magnificent. Paris on a beautiful spring morning with green trees along the avenues and a lot of traffic. Notice the red-white Danish flags? That where the Danish House is on Avenue des Champs-Èlysées.
Directly opposite is the Avenue de la Grande-Armée heading towards the high rise of La Défence.
The entirety of Arc de Triomphe itself is very hard to capture with the camera.
The most important element at ground level is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WW1 – always with the flame burning and blue-white-red flowers.
Traffic on the roundabout encircling the Arc de Triomphe is intense and noisy.
Parking habits rarely follow the regulations. You just drop your wheels anywhere.
Some motorists drive very exotic automobiles –
– like this old Bugatti Type 37, complete with a dog in the cockpit.
It would be nicer to have more electric cars on the streets. There are quite a few already, but many more are needed, s'il vous plait !
Walking along Boulevard Haussmann towards downtown we encountered a newspaper stand with the latest teaser from the famous magazine Charlie Hebdo. It reads: Soon Peace ! Will North Korea change its clown ? [I'm not quite sure if the clown is meant to be Trump].
We then visited a very plush palais, now Musée Jacquemart-André that has a superb collection of Italian renaissance art.
Paulo Uccello, 1440. Saint George and the Dragon.
Sandro Botticelli, 1505. Fleeing to Egypt. [I really feel sorry for the poor ass]
Just how the artist got away with representing baby Jesus like this (and with a blood sausage in his hand), puzzles me. His mother Mary looks quite modern.
M. Cassatt, 1878. Little Girl in a Blue Armchair.
The main attraction in the museum was, however, an exhibition with works by the American impressionist Mary Cassatt.
After a long walk home to the flat we decided for a small orgie with patisseries, wine and coffee.
The last item on the agenda was "a night at the Opera".
We therefore dressed in our best clothes and entered the opulent and glittering interior of l'Opéra de Paris
– and were duly flabbergasted by the grandeur of its gilded décor.
Not a square centimeter was left un-ornamented.
Once we got seated in the amphi-theatre we were awed by Marc Chagall's masterpiece frescoes on the ceiling.
This huge artwork from 1964 pays homage to 14 major composers of opera and lyrical music, as well as their oeuvres. Chagall was 77 years old when he painted these frescoes. In addition, Chagall apparently got so inspired by the scale of the demanding task and the mark it would leave on the world, that he declined to be paid a salary for the work!
The evening's artistic programme included three fairly brief but very experimental ballets choreographed by Ann-Teresa de Keersmaeker and with music of Bartok, Beethoven and Schönberg.