Basteal Day

Paris Travel Blog

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Creme Brulee
Just as I thought I was beginning to like this town...

The day started with a late wake up. We didn’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 café. Unfortunately, they didn’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, crème brulee. I haven’t had much crème brulee in my life so it was very easy to say that this was the best I’ve ever had.
CS
After our wonderful lunch, we split up and went our separate ways.

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.
Prime Minister Singh in the turban
I snapped a picture (a very good one, too) so I could do some research to see who it was. I later confirmed that it was Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India in town to meet with Mr. Sarkozy, the President of France.

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 I’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).
Champs Elysees after the parade


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.
The pyramids at the Louvre
Not paying attention at first, I had no idea what was going on. It was then I saw three men running away with Sarah’s iPod in hand. Sarah had been listening to it in her back pocket as we were walking and the three men easily snatched it from her. They disappeared almost instantly after we all had realized what had happened and there was nothing we could do at that point.

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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Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee
CS
CS
Prime Minister Singh in the turban
Prime Minister Singh in the turban
Champs Elysees after the parade
Champs Elysees after the parade
The pyramids at the Louvre
The pyramids at the Louvre
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
The Eiffel Tower lit up
The Eiffel Tower lit up
Fireworks
Fireworks
More
More
One more try
One more try
Clark staring at the cotton candy …
Clark staring at the cotton candy…
Just like the State Fair
Just like the State Fair
Paris
photo by: Sweetski