This is how Parisians celebrate what Americans call Bastille day…
Parade in the morning, most people watch it on tv, only the vigorous tourists go out to the Champs Elysées; and then others just soak in the morning sun (uuuh, rain) at a café, full of…you guessed it : tourists. Then we all go in search of lunch in tourist filled restaurants. The lucky ones go to their families house for lunch!
Then it’s the timing guessing game, on how early one must get to the chosen spot for viewing of the fireworks display… One hour in advance? Two? Three!?! Ok let’s make it a picnic so we don’t twiddle our thumbs and have sore bums by the time the show starts.
So, feeling quite smart, we arrive at the Champs de Mars (the green below the Eiffel tower) threeee hours in advance, picnic basket and all. Well we aren’t the only ones to have that SMART idea. In fact all of Paris and it’s tourists were there already; it was not easy to find a (dry) spot to plunk down on.
The wait is reduced by the activity of people watching, the French national sport, along with café sitting, and dog walking. And then one half hour before the show the late-comers arrive hoping to grab a corner of your carefully laid out picnic blanket. And by then you are so exasperated you start reminding yourself that you will not do this again next year.
But then when the sparks start flying, you forget all about the frustration and are completely captivated for a half hour by those bright shiny sparkly things called fireworks.
Vive la France!