One of the highlights of my trip to Europe was Bastille Day in Paris. The fireworks were amazing but it was more the experience of the whole day. Military vehicles drove down the streets during the day and French flags were everywhere. It seemed like a great idea to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and get some shots of this famous landmark all ablaze. I don’t know if my cousin and her family have forgiven me yet for suggesting this outing. I hope that in hindsite they can see the value of having been in a crowd of over a million people and having no way of getting back to our hotel except by using our own two feet.
We got to the Eiffel Tower site in plenty of time, which was maybe our first mistake because it only meant that we had to wait longer and breathe the smoke filled air for longer. There was no breeze at all, the temperature was over 30 C (as it was for most of our trip), and there were wall to wall people. And half of them were smoking. Smoking all around us. The French smoke a lot!! While people were waiting, they played cards, had picnics, drank, baby’s cried, children screamed and ran around and not only that. We were entertained a French singer who drove the crowd wild with excitement. Unfortunately for us, he seemed to be able to croon out the songs with no break at all. Endless love songs in French. The speakers were enormous so he was loud. And there was a big jumbo screen to watch him gyrate his hips if you were interested. And people took pictures with all their point and shoots. I found it interesting to take pictures of the people taking pictures and capturing what it was they saw on their camera screen. The fireworks were amazing. There is no doubt about that as you will see in the video.
We left halfway through the fireworks because we were concerned about how all of these people would get home. We didn’t need to have bothered. There was only one way to get home and that was walking. People were crowded into subway stations like sardines. And I would rather walk for 2 hours than be pushed and shoved around in a crowd. So we walked. And we walked. We walked for 2 hours often not knowing if we were going the right way. There was no chance to getting a cab either. The streets were full of people walking in masse. Every once in a while a car would come through the crowd with the driver blasting his horn and not caring if he hit someone. It was every man for himself.
We got back to our hotel at 1 a.m. In the end, it was a memorable experience and I did get some great shots of the fireworks. But I would not do it again. Not unless I was assured of nobody smoking around me and safe passage out of the crowd. And really what are the chances of that happening?
Watch the video and enjoy!
[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”4a748edf4e97bf8f” width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]