“She tasted the way fireworks felt, like something you could get close to but never really have just for yourself.” – Robyn Schneider
As I mentioned in the last post I wrote about Paris, it has been written about to death. Every single travel, lifestyle, fashion, photography, you-name-it blogger has written about Paris. That’s not a bad thing and I think that the city deserves every scribble it gets. However, I just don’t want to be regurgitating the same stuff. So, today I thought I would talk about the first day I ever spent in Paris and just how magical it was.
I studied French for 10 years and lived in France for 3 months of those 10 years and had never been to Paris. I was a French language student anomaly. Everyone and anyone I knew had been to visit Paris, and most of them didn’t care about France, their culture, their food or the most beautiful city in the world. I had heard so much about it and I had it so incredibly built up in my head that I expected Paris to be a let down. As I said here, sometimes low expectations are better – so that everything is a bonus. Well, low expectations were not what I had for Paris. However, Paris (like in everything it does) was an exception and it lived up to my unrealistically high expectations… And then some!
I landed in Paris on a Sunday night and I went straight to my friends house where we ate Croque Monsieur and caught up. So my first real day in Paris was a Monday and it just so happened to be Bastille Day. For those of you who might not know, Bastille day is a commemoration of the beginning of the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille fortress and prison on the 14th of July 1789.
I didn’t know what to expect from Bastille Day. During the day we visited the Louvre and upon exiting the Louvre we were met by a marching band and the French military on horse-back parading through the city. Afterwards, we strolled along the Champs-Elysées and we bought macaroons from Ladurée. Then we found a perch on Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower to get ready for the spectacle and worked our way through a big box of macaroons.
Words cannot describe how jaw-droppingly beautiful what followed was. I was there in 2014 and it was the first time that fireworks exploded from the Eiffel Tower in 12 years. As I’ve just said – words cannot describe it, so here’s my photo diary. (All of these photos were taken on my old iPhone 4 and they have not be edited at all… even though these photos have all of that going against them – I still think they are outstanding because the fireworks really speak for themselves).
What a way to mark my first day in Paris! It clearly lived up to everything I had imagined and more. Since that trip to Paris, I haven’t been back to France (having now studied French for 12 years, I can’t wait to go to a French speaking country again)! I wanted to share this photo diary with you so that if you’re thinking of going to Paris during the summer (and aren’t already there at the Euros!) and you’re just thinking about booking flights, I couldn’t recommend a better time to go than on the 14th of July. Whenever I go back to Paris, which will hopefully be in the not-so-distant future, I will definitely be planning on being there for La Fête Nationale.
I hope you enjoyed this photo diary! If you’re planning a trip to Paris, I’d love to hear, especially if you go on my favourite French holiday or make it to my favourite shop in Paris! You can contact me on facebook, twitter or instagram. And you can see what I get up to in real time on snapchat (imperfectlyfree) – I’m snap happy at the moment!