Bastille Day 2008

Main event was a long afternoon stroll through Promenade Plantée,
starting near the Bastille metro stop itself. Wonderful opportunity for
some nature photographs.

At the end of that, we were ready for tea. I was hoping to find a
Fauchon shop and procure some of its commemorative tea Mai ’68 (after
the student rebellions). Yet thanks to Deborah’s suggestion, we
discovered something far better: Mariage Freres Tea House. There were
over 600 teas to choose from. The menu was accompanied by a book with
fuller descriptions. The service was white cloth.

Jim and Rosemary had an afternoon tea, which was a blend of Ceylon
and Indian tea. I had a smokey grey tea and Madame Oui had a banana
infused tea. Her’s was the best and I subsequently purchased 150
grams of it, along with the aforementioned essential book guide.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tea house experience, and it was a highlight of the holiday (after meeting my nephew, of course!).

Later, all seven of us went to Léon for requisite mussels and
frittes. It was Thomas’ first meal out, and he was well behaved,
especially considering how warm the restaurant was. We all enjoyed the
feast.

We meant to get up early for the Bastille Day events, but after a
long day and not retiring until 2am, we four staying at the Ibis hotel
decided to lie in. No regrets, after seeing that ordinary members of
the public weren’t getting anywhere near the military procession.

Indeed, a good review of what Bastille Day represents can be found in the Economist magazine, “Rembering the barricades” (12 July 2008).

We spent a good portion of Sunday lounging at the hotel. Enjoyed a good lunch and a stoll through the park next door.

Jean-Charles and I then took some public hire bikes to the Arch de
Triumphe, which had large French and European flags draped for the
occasion. Got some good pics.

After dinner, Jean-Charles, Madame Oui and I headed towards the Eiffel
Tower for the concert and fireworks. Never saw so many people
congregated in one place. Easily 50,000+ on the mall. We didn’t have
the best angle and I had no tripod, but the fireworks display was
worthwhile. Managed to avoid most of the scrum getting home.

Rosemay found hit hard to say goodbye, and she fell apart once we
got back to the hotel. Never easy being a mother, no matter how old
your children get to be.

Last comment: I like Terminal 1 at Charles de Galle Airport. Police
security checks, “May I inspect you, sir?” And the duty free store full
of assorted delectable goodies.

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