Sunday, July 14, 2013

14 Juillet on the Champs-Elysées

I spent this morning on the Champs-Elysées at the 14 Juillet 2013 (Bastille Day) Military Parade. And my weekend in Paris started Friday evening ...

After a walk along the Seine and dinner in a sidewalk cafe with a slightly rude waitress, we boarded a tour boat at 10pm. Seeing dusk cover Paris was perfect.
Eiffel Tower. My view. Wowie.
The Seine River banks were FILLED with groups of people eating, drinking and enjoying the moment.
View of Notre Dame from the Seine River and the inside is spectacular as well.
After the one hour boat tour, we had desert on a Louve porch at Cafe Marly. Looking up and looking out at the architecture was surreal. I too was enjoying life - that thing the Parisians do so well.
Apple Tart at Cafe Marly.
Saturday brought four hours at the Louve with my rented educational headset. I covered the entire 2nd floor, saw Napoleon's Apartments on the 1st floor and then got really, really lost. I finally worked my way to the Grand Gallery to see the Mona Lisa. The Louve buildings are just as interesting as the contents. We then whiled away the afternoon with drink and food in the Louve gardens.

Degas - one of my favorite painters.
Robert Hubert's 1784 painting of the Louve's future Grand Gallerie.
My view of the Louve for most of Saturday afternoon ...
After the Louve, we took another walk beside the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. The underground tunnel entrance to the Arc de Triomphe is not so obvious ...
The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. There is also the eternal flame for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
This experience junkie was quite excited to find out I could attend the 14 Juillet 2013 (Bastille Day) Military Parade on the Champs-Elysées. I was there at 7am to secure a spot. To see France honor its soldiers with such a show of respect was impressive. Here are a few facts of what was included: 4,823 soldiers, 241 horses, 265 vehicles, 82 motorcycles and 58 aircraft & 35 helicopters with flypasts and the President of France, Francois Hollande! The variety of uniforms and hats was astounding ... only in France!

The event was well organized, the music was patriotic, the crowds were respectful and there was not a vendor in sight selling one single thing. Truly, a day of honor.
Opening flypast with the colors of the French Flag.
President Francois Hollande is in the Jeep with General Herve Charpentier.
Mounted Troops escort the President.

Motorized vehicles of all kinds.
White hats similar to US ...
Hats with red plumes!
Round light blue, red and white hats.
Silver hats with silver swords to match :)
See the boat collars on shirts and red fluffy balls on tops of hats?

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