Bastille Day 2011

Fireworks lighting up a tall steel structure. That is how I sum up the Bastille day celebrations on July 14 of 2011. When the perpetually illuminated tall & thin building goes dark without power and the fireworks throw light on it in different colors, the result is spectacular.

There are two best views of Tour Eiffel; from Trocadero and Champ de Mars. Champ de Mars is the grass laden open space ideally suited for picnics. On Bastille day, a huge stage is erected facing Champ de Mars where various artists performs from 6pm to the time of fireworks which was after 11pm this year.

In order to get inside Champ de Mars on this day, you have to walk through the security checks where your bags are checked, bottles opened and smelled for alcohol sometimes. Even at 6 pm, there wasn't much space to sit on the grass as the early birds had marked their territories by then. Despite the security checks, many people were able to smuggle in alcohol. By 9pm, there were a lot of drunken merriment in the park.

After 11pm, the fireworks started. The fireworks were choreographed with songs from "West Side Story" serving as the background score. The sounds of the fireworks were often drowned by the music. The fireworks was similar to paint running down long sheet of paper with Tour Eiffel already sketched on it. The finale was a sparkling Tour Eiffel with a whole lot of fireworks in the background.

After the fireworks, it was difficult to get back home. All the nearby metros are closed. On top of it, the cops regulate the flow into the metro in order to avoid congestion. So, I had to walk till Arc de Triomphe to catch a train.

Tags: Travel,Tour Eiffel,Bastille Day