I finally visited the main Gallery Lafayette store in Paris Haussmann, historical departmental store from the 19th century, opened by 2 cousins in 1893. It is situated something like 13 Metro stops from our place, which is around 1/2 hour train ride. You could see the sign of the store right after you exit the Metro station. It was not a very big entrance and I was expecting just another departmental store like those back home. As we entered the grand magasin, Daddy turned to me and said, ‘I will take care of Malcolm while you do your shopping. Call us when you are done’ We did a bit of test calls with our phones to make sure we are both contactable before they disappeared with their roller scooter. I think Daddy was overwhelmed by the size of the departmental store, and the wise choice to make was to make himself scarce ASAP before the damage is done, physically or mentally. For those who are not aware. Daddy HATES shopping and Mal is his perfect disciple. Now my little boy can’t even tolerate going grocery shopping with me!
Anyway, with them gone. I felt so FREE! free to do all the shopping I want for the next few hours. Gallery Lafayette is also known to be one of the places in Paris that is as visited as the Eiffel Tower and was shopped by the ‘greats’ of the world from Duchess and Prince to presidents and superstars. I was totally awed by the design and architecture of the place, from the glass dome roof top, to the balconies of each floor. From the very antique looking lifts with gates to the very grand, wide spacious stairway. There is a total of 200 over stores and brands inside this huge departmental store, from the luxurious to the affordable ones. You can find your favourite Gucci, LV, Burlberry, Prada, Tods, Fendi, Ferragamo, name it, you have it!
So I was fully energized and excited hoping to find myself a nice pair of boots and a warm wool coat, unaware of the challenge ahead. After combing through the first 3 levels of the 7 story building, I found myself totally drained and defeated. Everything seems to be expensive as they were all designer brands. A pair of boots with a name that I have never heard of, cost EUR 600++ after discount. Maybe I was too ignorant. A pair of leggings cost EUR 100++, probably fit for the Duchess. I later realised that the first 2 levels of the store houses all the designer brands, definitely not for commoner like me! Level 3 was a bit less discouraging as I finally saw something familiar, ZARA! But soon after the Zara store, I call it quit! I called Daddy and decided to meet up with them instead. It’s enough window shopping for me. My loot for the day include, 2 hooded sweat shirts from Zara and 2 100% lambswool scarves which I was very very pleased with as they only cost like EUR15.
I finally met up with them outside the Opera Garnier, world’s largest theatre and opera house opened in 1875, in the midst of handicapped demonstrators. Apparently, there was a demonstration by handicaps, asking the government for more aids as they have no means to earn a living in Paris, if we never misinterpreted the signs.
All in all, Gallery Lafayette is a shopping paradise for every woman. But be well aware that you will be blowing a HUGE hole in your pocket or be well on your way to bankruptcy. Still, I think it is a place that you must visit when you come to Paris and REMEMBER to bring your camera!
As for me, I shall be back again to complete my ascent to the 7th storey, oh and to check out their toilettes as well!0