Thursday, July 14, 2011

La Fete Nationale

Arch de Triomph with the French flag flying.  Are all French policemen are good looking or just the ones in Paris?
July 14 is what we Americans call Bastille Day.  To the French it is La Fete Nationale.  We went to Paris for the parade.  It started a bit after 10 with President Sarkosay, accompanied by lots of soldiers on horseback, some of them playing horns.  I don't know what the name of the tune is, but it is similar to our "Hail to the Chief". 

President Sarkosay is little guy waving like all politicians.

The Presidential Guard on horseback.

After that we waited and waited and waited and waited..........finally after more than an hour,  three planes flew overhead trailing red, white and blue smoke.  Awesome!  These were followed by more and more planes and helicopters.  I have never heard of bringing planes to a parade!
The planes trailing the Tri-colors.

Plane, planes and more planes.
Then the military started their engines and joined the parade.  There were tanks and guns and more tanks and more guns BUT!  There were absolutely NO BANDS!  What kind of a parade has NO BANDS?
This guy had a bunch of medals on his chest.

Can't sneak up on us, we have guns to the rear.
Going home across the Seine after the parade.


The biggest applause from the crowds were for the firemen who brought up the last of the parade.
The end of the military units was followed by the most popular group; The Firemen.  The crowd applauded and cheered and whistled.  I guess they can see what these men accomplish on a daily basis.  One woman standing next to us said they had come and saved her house when her chimney collapsed.  Every one cheered with her!
We have always wondered what it would be like to live on a boat in the Seinne.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Paris.  Lots to see, lots of people, lots of music.  We caught the metro/RER home in the late afternoon.  The fireworks happened too late for us to catch the last train home, so we skipped them. 
Our ride home.

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A Evening Visit to the Eiffel Tower

 Our Airbnb apartment was very close to the Eiffel Tower, so after dinner, we walked over to say Hello!