July 14

July 14 Bastille Day

Waiting on the Champs de Mars to watch fireworks

Happy Bastille Day!

What a Bastille day it was for us.  Arising early, we headed out to the Bastille Day parade down the Champs Elysees, after first stopping at the Boulangerie/Patisserie for the breakfast of champions.

The parade begins around 10:30 and we were so proud to be arriving close to an hour early. (exceptional planning for this family, or so we thought.)  The crowds were truly unbelievable.  After moving about in fits and starts and seeing nothing but the backs of many people’s heads we headed home for a quite day, before hitting the grand fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower scheduled for 10:30.

Not to be schooled a second time, we left for the display, cards, books and picnic in hand for the 15 minute walk at a bit before 5:00.  Merde!  We were almost too late to find a seat on the already packed Champs de Mars.  However, with a bit of persistence, we squeezed in next to a very understanding and spread out group.  Little did we know that this tiny space would occupy many more before the evenings end.

A concert (think the French equivalent of Neil Diamond singing translated and out-dated cover songs) began around 8:00 which the crowd truly appreciated, singing and dancing along.  (As Molly said, it was great for people watching and gathering ideas for characters.)  As the concert ended, a chant went up all around, growing in it’s intensity… assis (seated, which never happened.)

Much to our delight, the light show and fireworks were magnificant.  It was the 120 anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, so using the tower as a screen, a light / fireworks display began, telling the story of the Eiffel Tower’s 120 years.  It’s almost impossible to explain, because I couldn’t imagined it, but they used the tower as a screen to project moving images (such as the tower dancing, morse code flowing up the sides,   dead bodies piling up to depict WWII and a flower power image for the 60’s, to name a few.   I’ve attached a link that shows the fireworks, which were also great, but it was the light show that was spectacular http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ni1GyJgjrk)

Our view of the parade

Our view of the parade


2 responses to “July 14

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun. We are all thinking about you and wondering what other exiting moments you will have

  2. What fantastic planning to be in Paris for Bastille Day! Wow! I loved your description of it all and wish I could have heard their version of a Neil Diamond concert. I loved watching the fireworks – thanks to your link – and then watched the horse calvary prepare for Bastille Day while I was on You Tube.

    I learned that the horse calvary was created in 1802 by Napolean and one in ten of the cadets is a woman. (Good for them for pointing out the disparity.) This very fine group of 200 horses accompanied the President in the parade. Were you able to see them?

    Your entry makes me want to re-read “A Tale of Two Cities.” It was my favorite book in high school. As I watched the fireworks, I could just imagine Madame Defarge knitting the names of the elite who were to lose their heads into her fine scarf. (Molly, do you think it might be fun to try knitting names into something someday?)

    Check out what Wikipedia has to say about A Tale of Two Cities. It’s a very interesting overview of the book and the character development. I think the writers and historians in the family will have interest.

    Thank you so much for continuing to share your ongoing, fantastic adventure. I can’t wait to read what you’re doing tomorrow!

    Much love, M – 3

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