Today is a day of celebration for France!! July 14, 1789 was the day of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison. It was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation. (thanks wikipedia!)
Mr. Sugarplum and I experienced the party of Bastille Day first-hand exactly 10 years ago today. We actually had no idea our trip to Paris and London fell on their special holiday, until we awoke in our hotel, half a block from the Arc de Triomphe, to the sound of tanks and military fly-overs! They start the morning with a huge parade right down the Champs Elysees. Even the President of France was there.
And you think it’s jolting when teenagers in your neighborhood pop firecrackers on the Fourth of July…France has a slightly more lenient policy on fireworks. They drop M80s right on the sidewalk next to you…all afternoon and night. I was so jittery from it I was forced to calm my nerves with
an obscene amount a few crepes from the sidewalk vendors!
And as if the day wasn’t cool enough…we somehow wandered on the last Bateaux-Mouches of the evening! (Boat trip down the River Seine after dark.) The captain anchored near the Eiffel Tower and we were treated to one of the world’s largest fireworks displays, with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop. Mr. SP and I kept looking at each other wondering how in the world we’d stumbled into this experience.
Sorry for the crap-ball pics…but this was ten years ago…we didn’t have one of those fancy, high-falooting digital cameras! As if this isn’t proof enough of the date, check out our big ol’ white American Tourist tennis shoes!!?? I can’t even be sure he’s not wearing a fanny-pack under his anorak!
It was a beautiful trip in a truly special city. Viva la France!