Last year for Bastille Day I was lucky enough to be in Paris for a reunion of a bunch of my friends that live abroad. Bastille Day was the occasion in which our trip was planned around and the center piece of the trip was a picnic at Champ de Mars, which is the park at the base of the Eiffel tower, where they have a big firework display to mark the occasion. Bastille Day (the 14th of July) was a delightful day of wandering about Paris, soaking in the sights, and catching up with my lovely friends most of which I had not seen in over 2 years. We enjoyed catching some rays at The Jardin de Tuileries, eating at brassieres, and chatting about the going ons of the past years. As the day wore on it was time to collect the rest of the group in order to prep for our picnic. We were a bit worried that it was going to rain for the big event since the weather could not make up it’s mind between sunshine and down pours (which luckily only happened as we ate). Thankfully for our plans the sky decided to clear up for us just as we were on the way to go shopping. Once we collected the rest of our group all 15 of us headed off to the local grocery store to split up and buy supplies. We ended up with a large array of meats, cheese, bread, and plenty of other snacks, of course what we got was not the best Paris has to offer but for the prices and the fact it was all from a supermarket it was quite great. We of course also picked up some wine, you know only 13 bottles worth and a few other drinks, since we knew this was going to be a risky move because we had heard that during the festivities that alcohol is not allowed in the park we decided to not risk getting a mini Heineken keg (that was the dutch boys idea in the first place). We knew it would be a risk but we figured we might as well try because what is a holiday picnic with out wine, at the very least we could always locate ourselves somewhere a bit further away from the action.
When we reached the park, as expected, there were Police checking everyone’s bags as they entered the main area, we figured that we should move on to somewhere where it was okay to have our wine but as we were coordinating where we go someone in the group found an entry point where no one was checking bags. Magically we were able to sneak into the park all the wine which was quite an amazingly hilarious thing. Of course through the whole time we had to be on guard and hide what we were drinking since the police were patrolling the park for this particular reason but that made it extra fun and memorable. Thankfully fate was endlessly on our side on this day and we were never found out even though there were a few close calls.
After a few hours of eating, drinking, and chatting dusk turned into night and the fireworks began. I have to say that the fireworks were some of the best I have seen and I have been to some impressive displays, though part of it could have been the fact the majestic Eiffel Tower was a part of the view. The Eiffel tower was even dressed up for the day with a disco ball hanging from it’s peak and lights that were a part of the show. To accompany the fireworks there of course was a speakers around the park playing euro pop/ electronic music. It was a truly epic day and evening in every respect and sealed my forever love for Paris.
This particular Bastille Day will forever live in my memories and I feel that I should commemorate it by celebrating my own way back home this year. So I am hoping that everything works out and that I am able to plan a Picnic/ Barbeque at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. As I was out of town for 4th of July (Travel Post about the Oregon Coast coming soon) and was unable to contribute to our picnic I want to go all out for Bastille day but we will see what happens but for now I am planning to make a few different tapas for snacking and a Blue Cheese Frozen Yougurt number for dessert. So stay tuned in for that.