Paris Travel Blog› entry 45 of 58 › view all entries
July 14th, 2009 – by: reger1520
The day started with a late wake up. We didnâ€™t have any plans for the day except to enjoy the atmosphere of Paris on the French Independence day. CS wanted to try and see the Catacombs again while I wanted to enjoy the festivities going on around the city.
We treated ourselves to lunch at a small, Parisian cafĂ©. Unfortunately, they didnâ€™t have my beloved escargot. Instead I opted for a jambon et fromage (ham and cheese) omelet and an espresso. To finish, I indulged myself in a very French dessert, crĂ¨me brulee. I havenâ€™t had much crĂ¨me brulee in my life so it was very easy to say that this was the best Iâ€™ve ever had.
I had looked online before venturing out about various events going on around the city. There was a big parade down the Champs Elysees in the morning that we missed, but I figured the aftermath would still be going on. Our hotel was in the north eastern part of town, so I began walking southwest.
As I made my way through the Place de Concorde, I encountered a large mass of people lined up outside of a ritzy hotel. There was security everywhere and hordes of tourists with their cameras at the ready. Having no particular destination in mind, I decided to stay and wait to see what celebrity would pop out of the doors and into the black Mercedes parked out front. About two minutes after I arrived, out came an old Middle Eastern man surrounded by security.
Afterwards, I continued my walk to the packed Champs Elysees. The parade was finished but there were still French flags lining the street and a massive flag underneath the Arc de Triomphe. I then walked back towards the Louvre and the area in which I stayed my first few nights in Paris when I was with the Metz group.
I met back up with CS and we stopped to pick up a baguette and sandwich meat. I know Iâ€™ve been in France for a long time when it feels normal to be carrying a huge baguette and nothing else down the street. After some rest and relaxation in our tiny hotel room, we fought our way through the streets of Paris to view the Bastille Day fireworks (France is also celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower this year).
We took the metro back to the Arc and then walked to the Tower. Unfortunately, every glimpse you could get of the tower was filled to the brim. You could not move. Finally, after about a mile walk around the Tower in a circle about a mile away, we found a place right on the banks of the Seine to watch.
The fireworks began around 10:30pm and lasted just about a half an hour. It was cool seeing all of the fireworks coming out of the top and sides of the Tower. It was gorgeous. After the grand finale, we began walking home when the trouble started.
As the masses of people began to filter back into the streets of Paris, we were bumped and jostled around for blocks. This was by far the largest crowd I had ever been in. All of a sudden, Sarah began yelling.
We began getting tired and Sarah was pretty upset so we began heading towards home. That was until we found a huge carnival in the middle of the city. It was basically the Minnesota State Fair minus all of the food. Clark loved all the rides and candy and looked like a little kid running around. It was the weirdest thing and it was still going strong at 1:00am.
After some excitement there and a subway ride back to our hotel, we called it a night. I had a really good day in Paris (for a change) until the iPod incident which, unfortunately, dampened my mood towards Paris again.
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