Quatorze Julliet…La Fête Nationale in Paris
We hit the bed at 1am last night after a very busy day enjoying one of the most colorful, festive days in France.
By 10am, we were in position on the best bridge to watch the fly-over from the start of the parade along with a small crowd and even benches for seating. It’s a super location, and the day was gorgeous without a cloud in the sky. It was noisy but thrilling, and for a real treat, copy this link, open and view James’ wonderful video of the entire fly over.
Here are Bernie’s pictures in sequence.
Part of our tradition afterward is to go to the tiny cafe beneath us for a brunch to watch a section of the parade come down rue St. Antoine as it is breaking up. The locals do this as opposed to fighting the crowds on the Champs.
For the evening fireworks, we went to Jim and Peggy Bilbro’s apartment on Rue Cler which is just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, had mostly leftovers from our party for a quick dinner, then made our way to find a spot to view the fireworks. That’s not an easy task, but we made out okay. As I pointed out to Bernie, we were the only faces over 30 years old! Here are the photos Bernie took which may appear spectacular, but in our opinion, this was not the best year we have seen. The theme was dark and gloomy, the music almost eerie, Gothic and oppressive. But you will get the idea, and we’ll hope for a better go next year. The best news is that there were no terrorist attacks to mar the day.
The “Purely Paris Photo of the Day is this lady in her patriotic scarf.
L & B
July 15, 2017 @ 8:38 am
Bernie got some good photos from the fireworks! He concentrated on the spectacular part. It was a fun day and evening! Kudos to you for getting up to do your blog after that late night!
July 15, 2017 @ 9:20 am
What Peggy B. said! Love your various Paris traditions.
Cheers and bon weekend à tous.
David L Henry
July 15, 2017 @ 10:10 am
When I tried to view the flyover video, I got this message from Google – 400. That’s an error. The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.
July 15, 2017 @ 1:14 pm
Sorry! We had trouble posting it!
July 16, 2017 @ 5:11 am
I have fixed the video. Try it again
July 15, 2017 @ 11:24 am
Another set of great photos! It helps to get the true spirit of all the festivities.
July 15, 2017 @ 1:17 pm
Merci! Lunch soon when we return!
July 15, 2017 @ 12:48 pm
When copying the link of the fly over, remember don’t copy the period at the end and be sure to turn on the sound. Very nice video – works well with the still shots. The fireworks and patriotic theme seems the same as our July 4th celebrations. I would describe our July 4th celebration as hamburgers and hotdogs in the backyard. How would you describe the French Bastille Day celebration of a typical family?
July 15, 2017 @ 1:16 pm
My words to describe the day from the local vantage point would be friends, wine, fireworks and the Firemen’s Ball.
July 15, 2017 @ 12:53 pm
Wow!!!! What spectacular photos! You can almost hear the applause from the crowd and the roar of the planes in the flyover not to mention all the noise associated with the fireworks! Thanks getting up this morning and sharing!
July 15, 2017 @ 1:17 pm
July 15, 2017 @ 2:27 pm
What a treat to see all of the festivities. Beautiful pictures. Thank you Linda.
Peggy H Simpson
July 15, 2017 @ 3:08 pm
wonderful…I was there in my mind…thank you.
July 15, 2017 @ 3:21 pm
So glad you enjoyed it!
July 15, 2017 @ 9:24 pm
Linda, if you can go in and edit out the period at the end of the link to Jamie’s video, it will work. If you can’t then people can just copy the link and remove the period at the edn, just like Pat O’Brien said. It’s a great video! Worth the effort to see it!
July 16, 2017 @ 5:13 am
July 16, 2017 @ 8:08 am
Hmmm. I still had to copy it into google search and when I did, the period showed up again! But when I removed it, thenlink worked. Oh well, I guess we should just move on.
February 3, 2018 @ 4:37 am
I will be in Paris with my daughter for La Fete Nationale this July. Which bridge did you watch the fly over from? In the past I have viewed it from my hotel balcony in the 4th… they flew right over us! But this time we will be staying in the 3rd and I thought my daughter would like to view the fly past from the bridge you were on.
Also, where did you end up viewing the fireworks from? From the pictures it doesn’t look like you were on the Champ de Mars. Were you close enough to hear the music as well? I have viewed them from Place de la Concorde, but you couldn’t hear the music. It was good for crowds though, lots of people there, but not a mad crush when it was over. We slipped down to the Concorde metro and caught the next train easily before they became crazy busy. Wondering if we should just do that again or brave the area closer to the tower.
February 3, 2018 @ 12:04 pm
So glad you will get to enjoy Quartorze Juliet. I can never remember the official name of our bridge but it’s the one that is directly next to L’hotel de Ville, the big Paris city hall. It also has benches which is nice. Maybe we’ll see you there! As to the evening, we were not on the Champ de Mars, but just off it in an area that was not a good viewing spot because of the tall trees. The security has changed and the green space was not accessible by the time we got there. If you go very early, that might work. We could not hear the music which was very disappointing. You can do a riverboat cruise but should book it now if you’re interested. Even that is not ideal depending on where you are seated. There is hardly any space on the outside back of the boat. We are probably going back to Le Ciel de Paris on top of the Montparnasse Tower. It’s a lovely meal and you are up above the Eiffel Tower which gives a great view. Sometimes they manage to pipe in the music and sometimes not. It’s tres, tres cher, however. Good luck!
February 6, 2018 @ 10:02 pm
Oh you must mean Pont d’Arcole. OK. Good to know. Your video of the flypast was great, so looks like a good spot. You said 10am? Is that when the flypast generally happens? I don’t remember what time it was on my last trip. We watched the parade on the TV in the hotel. When the fly past started we would see them on screen flying up the Champs-Élysées and we would pop out on the balcony to see them fly over. Back in too see what was coming next, a few seconds later they would be overhead. We are coming from le haut Marais, so will have to allow for travel time. I think it’s a straight shot on the metro from République. If we plan to be there for 9:30 that should be enough time to not miss the flypast?
For the fireworks, I’ll have to keep in mind Le Ciel de Paris for a future trip. Don’t think it will fit in with this trips budget. 🙂
Someone on another site mentioned Pont de l’Alma. It’s more of a side view, but you can still hear the music. If not we’ll head back to Place de la Concorde. I don’t think we will brave the Champ de Mars. It will just by my 16 year old daughter and myself and it sounds like you have to get there fairly early to secure a spot. I think I’ll wait until the next trip when a couple of my friends will also be coming. That way if someone has to get up to go to the bathroom, there isn’t just one person left fighting to retain the space. LOL.
Thanks so much for the info. I’m looking forward to reading the blog from your next trip. 🙂
February 7, 2018 @ 12:05 am
The parade begins at 10:30 and the fly past is the kick-off. If you’re there by 10am, you should be able to secure a bench. Find us and you can go with us to Le Bouquet St. Paul afterward and have brunch. The parade breaks up down different streets and one of them is rue St. Antoine, just around the corner from our apartment. We sit and watch while we eat. It’s fun. Everyone jumps up and claps for Les Pompiers (the firemen). As to the evening, it’s a challenge to find a good spot. Have you read our book, “Bernie’s Paris?” It’s on Amazon and would be a great Paris guide for you. Also tells our story.
February 7, 2018 @ 1:11 am
How sweet of you to invite us. We may take you up on that offer. We will see if we can find you.
As for your book, I have not read it. It is on my list of must reads, but I have not been able to get a copy. I live in Canada and have tried to purchase it on both chapters.indigo.ca and amazon.ca but it is not available. I’ve also tried to purchase it as an e-book but it is only available for Kindle and not for Kobo. You should tell your publisher that your Northern neighbors would love to purchase your book if we could (or make it available on the Kobo platform). I will have to try and order a hard copy out of the USA and have it shipped to Canada. 🙂
I follow you on Facebook and am an avid reader of your blog though and have enjoyed many of your travel adventures there. 🙂
February 7, 2018 @ 1:19 am
Good to know about Canada. Go to createspace.com and see if you can find it there. It’s the publishing arm of Amazon.
February 7, 2018 @ 1:25 am
Christine, I just checked with the publisher and they say it is on Amazon.ca. So I don’t know what to tell you. I know people have bought the book in France and England. They automatically convert to euros. Try again. “Bernie’s Paris…Travel Stories with Love.”
February 7, 2018 @ 7:09 pm
Thank you so much for checking. That is so weird. In the past when I have tried both amazon and chapters/indigo in Canada the book was not available, or only on Kindle. I see it is now. I have a copy on it’s way as we speak! Can’t wait to read it.
February 7, 2018 @ 9:14 pm
Fantastic and let me know what you think! Merci