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What did you do on Bastille Day?

Montreal
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What did you do on Bastille Day?

People often ask about things to do in Paris on this national holiday, so I thought I'd ask what those of you in Paris yesterday were up to.

We barely made it to hotel after last night's fireworks, catching the last train at nearly 2am... the crowd to get into metro was huge and hardly moved. The fireworks had been lovely but am not sure I'd go through all this trouble again -- had to get there well in advance too to find a decent spot by the Eiffel Tower.

Before, we had gone to the Louvre and it wasn't too crowded, despite free admission on July 14th. Queue moved so quickly that we were in in a minute. Among other things, got to see a couple of nice temporary exhibitions there and especially liked this one http://tinyurl.com/6k22hfb -- gorgeous miniatures mainly from 15th century.

Paris, France
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1. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

1. Went to see Harry Potter at 9:20 a.m.

2. Boiled an artichoke.

3. Ironed some shirts.

4. Watched the Tour de France on TV.

5. Visited the nursing home.

6. Ate the artichoke for dinner.

Burlington
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2. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

Had a wonderful day here in Paris yesterday.

1. Got to the parade just a bit late but enjoyed the marchers, the military vehicles and the helicopters very much. My fiance asked if we have these kinds of parades in Canada, to which I replied "I don't think we have this much military in all of Canada."

2. Spent the afternoon in Musee d'Orsay... simply awesome!

3. Foud a Brasserie nearby our apt. and had a nice dinner.

4. Left Blvd. St Germain Brasserie at 10 and took the RER C towards the Tour Eiffel. The stop before Champs de Mars (Pont ....? forget) and the Champ de Mars were both closed to the train. So we rode to the stop past the tower and had a wonderful view of the fireworks looking back towards the city. Easy to get back on and make it back to St Michel station by midnight.

Another wonderful day in this beautiful city.

My appologies for any spelling errors of place names etc.

Paris 4th Arr
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3. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

1. walked across rue de Rivoli to watch the Pompiers demonstrate how to get from the bell tower of the Hotel de Ville to the ground by rope.

2. Waited till the military portion of the parade was done and headed to the Bastille where they assemble after the event on the Champs so we could dive into the métro line-1 as the army tanks passed overhead on rue de Rivoli. An absolutely amazing acoustical experience. Discovered it by accident years ago.

3. Headed to Bastille to kick the tires of all the military hardware that sits for hours waiting to be picked up by flat-bed trucks for return to their bases. I'm not exactly pro-military but I grew up in a navy family and it gets in your blood. I love planes, trains and big military hardware. The parade vehicles are parked on rue de Lyon for hours so you can get up close to see the equipment and the soldiers are so proud to show it to you (have you ever seen the inside of a French tank?).

4. Ate a great Pavé de Veau at Le Pavé (aligot too of course).

5. Watched Jon Stewart and Colbert.

6. Went to bed early because the pompier's celebrations were so loud the night before that there was no quiet till 3AM. We needed the sleep.

Paris
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4. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

1. Said goodbye to my partner who is lucky enough to spend the pont in the Loire valley

2. Watched and heard the planes and helicopters of the parade fly over my apartment

3. Worked on a soon to be delivered report (hence the non pont for me) with FIP, then electro tango in the background

4. Had a meeting with my co-author

5. Went to see Altman's Nashville at 21h00 at the fantastic Max Linder Panorama on the grands boulevards

6. Was on such a high after this great movie, that I finished up what was left of the Côtes du Jura bottle whilst researching stuff about the film on the net

7. Went to bed happy

GreenJimmy
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5. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

-Went to the parade, arriving a little after 9:30. Saw Sarkozy come tearing by, the planes, the marching etc.

-Walked up towards Madeline and somewhere in there came across a big army convoy; APCs, jeeps, tanks etc. I didn't even know how fast a tank could move but seeing one tear down Boulevard Hausman at what must have been at least 60 km/h was something else.

-Took Metro up to Montmartre. Walked the streets, saw Sacre Couer, tried to dodge the scam artists.

-Took Metro down to Cite and took a Bateau Mouche.

-Visited shops on Ile St. Louis to pick up some last-minute gifts, gelato and food for our dinner picnic.

-Got to Champs De Mars around 7:40 and barely nabbed a small patch at the very back of the lawn. Ate baguettes, cheese etc., watched a perfect sunset and an unforgettable (if a bit underwhelming) fireworks show...(Example of underwhelming? The theme was Broadway music and the medley included oddities like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, nothing from Les Mis and the finale was America, from West Side Story. AMERICA?! On France's birthday?)

-Spent a long time walking back to our hotel in St. Germain De Pres, eventually making the mistake of trying to get on the Metro further down the line. An experience to remember, suffice it to say...

-Then we woke up at 5 am to catch our plane home!

Dublin
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6. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

We watched the planes and helicopters flying over our apartment while simultaneously watching the parade on TV.

Later we wandered around the Marais and went up to see the view from the Pompidou Centre.

We then went for a cruise on the Seine and watched the fireworks from the boat parked beside Pont d'Iena. I loved the evening and thought the fireworks were magnificent.

We walked for about 25 mins (past scary and dangerous looking crushes into several metro stations) to Commerce metro station, which was practically empty. We got seats and stayed on all the way back to Chemin Vert which was only a 5-10 min walk from the apartment. The crowds on the platforms at the following stations were dreadful!

Montreal
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7. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

Reckless - which cruise company did you use and did you reserve in advance?

We walked to Cambronne station, needed line 6. The first few stops people couldn't get off because the train was so packed, but then it became normal and we were able to transfer easily at Nation, catching the last train out.

Dublin
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8. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

We used Vedettes de Paris and I only booked on Saturday 9th.

the big blue marble
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9. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

Left Paris and spent much of the day exploring Bordeaux.

Ran into military parade.

Had a great dinner.

Walked home feeling sad that we were all too tired to join everyone on the river banks and watch the fireworks.

Got to our rooms and realized we had an amazing view of the show from our deck.

Enjoyed it all, was asleep 5 minutes later, quite happy.

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: What did you do on Bastille Day?

The night before we went to the Bal de Pompiers on Rue du Jour in the 1st. There was a live band and it was a lot of fun...I think we got home around 2 or 3.

Slightly worse for the wear, the next morning we headed to the Louvre around 10am; just before we went in we managed to see the air show (this was unplanned as we'd intended to get to the Louvre at 9). No wait at the Porte des Lions.

Took a much-needed afternoon nap, then headed to the Champs du Mars around 8-ish to watch the fireworks and have a picnic. Avoided some of the Metro crowds by walking back across the river to catch the train from Concorde.