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14 juillet 2012 | celebrating bastille day in paris

How exciting to be in Paris on July 14th – for La Fete Nationale, Le quartorze juillet (July 14th) or better known to Americans as the Fete de la Bastille (Bastille Day)!

{What is Bastille Day? A day to remember the storming of The Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, which helped spark The French Revolution. A very important day in French history that helped form modern day France – much like our American Revolution}

All around France and especially in Paris there are grand quatorze juillet celebrations which we were so excited to be part of. The week leading up to today, we witnessed fly overs, the Eiffel Tower getting a huge silver disco ball installed in preparation of this year’s theme, partitions being put up around the city and supersonic jets practicing for their big day. But since this was our first time in Paris for Le quatorze juillet we had no idea what to expect.

The day started with a military parade attended by President Francois Hollande which included troops marching down the Champs Elysees, flyovers by military aircraft, paratroopers and lots and lots of people cheering everybody on. The crowd was like 7 or 8 people deep on the Champs Elysees so we couldn’t see very well but we somehow managed to find a street from where all the military vehicles were exiting.

Since it does not get dark in this part of the world until about 10 at night – the Bastille Day fireworks celebration at The Eiffel Tower does not start until 10:45 pm. We made sure the kids had a nap so that they could make it. Lots of walking and lots of people but well worth it. We chose to not go all the way to the Eiffel Tower since we worried about the kids walking home that far being tired. Instead we chose a spot right where the military parade ended earlier today – at the Place de la Concorde. We lined up right along the Seine and had a perfect view of two thirds of the tower and all of the fireworks.

It is just overwhelming how much history this very special city shares. We feel so fortunate to have participated in the Bastille Day celebrations.

Caroline Barkley - July 15, 2012 - 5:24 pm

What an exciting place for the family to be this summer. I am so happy to see the pictures. Please give the girls my love.

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