Wednesday, July 16, 2014

La quatorzième de juillet

So we have read that the French don't refer to it as Bastille Day--violent and unseemly connotations, you know--rather, the 14th of July. OK. D'accord. Anyhow, our Bastille Day started as we were getting ready to leave the apartment for our visit to the Parc de Buttes Chaumont: jets thundering above, part of the air show that accompanies the military parade on the Champs Elysees. (The turning point in the taking of the Bastille was when the army troops arrived and decided to support the Revolution). Clearly it was a holiday...the big stores closed, the thin-margin stores open, the restaurants and cafes and such all open. Quiet in the morning, but then getting more crowded as the day wore on. Our next indication of the national holiday was when we walked into the subway station...
and began noticing all the signs about line and station closures
that evening

...and then when we left the Parc Buttes-Chaumont, and found
the 19th Arrondissement Mairie bedecked with flags and military
vehicles from the parade arriving en show

P was impressed with all the big vehicles

All named for famous battles

All-terrain, high mobility vehicle

Snow camo?

Anyhow, we felt relatively safe (greater Paris registers
9 (nine) violent crimes a day, so we feel pretty safe

After a late nap and dinner, we boarded bus #69 at Place Leon
Blum, hoping to take it as usual all the way to the Champ du
Mars and from there watch the fireworks extravaganza from
the Trocadero and the Tour Eiffel; alas, at the Louvre, the bus
driver announced it was the end of the line and we all had to
get off

Happily, we could see the Tour Eiffel sparkling and twinkling
from there, the beginning of the Tuileries, so we just found a
place to sit

Enjoyed the sights

Munched on our pastry snacks

And waited for the show to begin

And then, a few minutes past 11, it did begin

Grandma was handling the camera during the fireworks and
didn't get many stills, but she did get some great video of
the 2014 Bastille Day fireworks in Paris, to be seen shortly


We were concerned about the crowds and transportation--
500,000 were expected on the Champs de Mars that evening--
so we left a few minutes early and caught the #1 Metro back
home, P driving us all the way...a great Bastille Day and July

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