Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flashback Thursdays: Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris

   July found us in Paris for a week that included the 14th. Let's see if I can do this in suitably sized and coloured type:

A very, very big event all over France--and especially in Paris.
   We'd have had to be up at first light to find a space on the Champs Elysées to watch the big parade. Instead we went over to the Marais and watched a fly-past from the terrace of a friend's apartment.
   Traditionally, the day winds up with what is said to be a mind-blowing fireworks display. We rode a bus along the Seine, hoping it would drop us off near the Eiffel Tower. It didn't. All traffic was stopped at a certain point. so we joined the steadily thickening crowd.
   This was as close as we wanted to get, knowing that getting away afterwards would be a massive scrum. We stood around, sat on convenient walls, and ate French fries. Barring the informal sale of bottles of wine and beer, it was a booze-free event.
    Around 11 p.m. the Eiffel Tower's lights went out, and massive chrysanthemum-like fireworks lit up the sky. Bang, bang. Flash, flash. Twinkle twinkle. Bangbangbangbangbang. Sparkle sparkle. That's the thing with fireworks, one picture--especially a moving one--is definitely worth a thousand words.

     When it all ended, we joined the massive crowd making its way back along beside the river. Finding a bus or taxi was impossible and the Metro didn't bear thinking about. So we walked and walked and walked, stopping at 1 a.m. for savagely overpriced, but very welcome. mugs of hot chocolate.

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