Surprise Tango in Paris (We’ve Simply Got to Go Back!)

July 2, 2021

Surprise Tango in Paris (We’ve Simply Got to Go Back!)


Paris always has a surprise in store for you. Walking in this city at night is the best way to lasso that travel serendipity that happens when you don’t have a plan but are open to whatever comes along.

We were strolling along Boulevard Hausmann after wonderful dinner at Canard and Champagne on an anniversary trip in Paris. It was 10:30 p.m. and only our second night in Paris after a red-eye flight from Houston, but our jetlag was forgotten as we walked hand-in-hand, experiencing the magic of a warm summer evening and the joy of exploring this world-class city together.

As we approached the majestic Palais Garnier, dramatic music we’d heard for a couple of blocks grew louder. We noticed figures moving on the landing that runs the length of the building…in sync with each other.

Palais Garnier on Saturday night
Palais Garnier on Saturday night

“Look! People are dancing!”

“They’re doing the tango!”

Only in Paris, we thought.

We made our way up the steps to the landing and stood at the edge of the dancing, watching, transfixed, for more than ten minutes, as couples of all ages dipped, spun and twirled, backward and forward under the lights of the Opera, their movements fluid and graceful despite the abrupt changes of direction the tango is famous for.

Tango on the steps of the Palais Garnier

The music came from a big boom box, and the dancers nimbly avoided a pile of items grouped together in the center of the landing, which were probably handbags and walking shoes, and maybe shopping bags filled with macarons and wine.

Tango on the steps of the Palais Garnier

It was a pop-up Saturday night Argentine Tango-fest. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!

Tango on the steps of the Palais Garnier


Only in Paris, we thought again.

Palais Garnier was the setting for Phantom of the Opera. Next time, we’ll be sure to visit in the daytime and check out its magnificent interior.

We need to go back.

© 2021, Glover Gardens

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