Sunday, July 15, 2007

Le défilé du 14 juillet!

I wish I had taken this photo myself, but I would have had to climb up the Obelisque on the Place de La Concorde... Instead I "stole" it from the French television which had many cameras there and on the Champs Elysées. To be honest I went down there this morning to take photos for PDP but there was far too much crowd . I suppose everybody wanted to see the European battalions that marched for the 1st time on the Champs Elysees this year (OK, some European battalions already marched on the Champs Elysées, but they were German and it was a long time ago ;). BTW, these soldiers belong to the Légion Etrangère.


  1. Hi Eric. I'm in Paris at the moment. I missed the President by 5 minutes. Dommage. I was at Champs Elysees Clemenceau. And then, I ended up by Passy Metro for the fireworks...which were obstructed by a building. Haha. Ran to an unobstructed area though. Awesome fireworks!

  2. Eric, do you think Parisians now feel more European and embracing of united Europe, and have put the German occupation into the history book? Or is it a finely balanced thing? (The ocupation of Paris being SO defining a thing in the western imagination as it is)

  3. I would totally have believed it was your photo if you said so. Splendid image!
    I saw on the papers some other pictures of the Légion Etrangère parade. And now, because I'm in the mood, I'm going to watch a movie about the french revolution called "The black book" !

  4. This takes me back to the Bastille Day I spent in Tahiti. There was a huge parade. But the only thing I remember was the French Foreign Legion. That was the scariest group of men I every saw. They looked angry and dangerous. Sorry. But that's what Tahiti. Who would look scary and dangerous in such a paradise? They did have one redeming feature, however. The locals could take empty bottles or jugs to the barracks and fill them up with free wine from a spiggot! And the homes had baguette boxes outside - very long, skinny mail box-like affairs where the bread would be delivered each morning. Try to get there if you can. Gauguin was on to a good thing.

  5. Eric: I hope you had a great Bastille Day! I can imagine all the fantastic colors and pageantry that bedecked Paris. So much happening in the city of lights! Merci for bringing it daily to us.

    vicky hugo: baguette boxes and free that is living! No wonder Gauguin loved Tahiti!

  6. Légion étrangère guys are ex convicts and very often brutal savages, with veyr few brains. They usually do the dirty job.
    The occupation of Paris by the Germans is old history. Eric was refering to a parade for 14 Juillet during when François Mitterand was Présidents.
    Waht about the Eurocorps during Chirac's presidency?

  7. I was actually wondering what would be today's pictures and if you had managed to get closer to take a picture.

    Some battalions were nice than others.

  8. Taking pictures in a crowd is not easy at all! This is an impressive shot. Glad you took some time to go enjoy yourself a little bit.

    Of course, I'm a little disappointed not to find a beautiful shot of the Eiffel Tower spewing red, white and blue ... ;)

  9. I planned to go but failed to wake up :(.
    Well the Germans already marched on July 14, 1994.

  10. Le jour du 14 juillet
    je reste dans mon lit douillet
    La musique qui marche au pas
    Cela ne me regarde pas

    Te souviens-tu du guitariste moustachu et anarchiste qui chantait ainsi?

    Fabuleuse photo qui m'a fait penser que tu avais des amis avec un balcon bien placé... j'ai été déçue...

  11. English translation:

    On the fourteenth of July
    I stay in bed comfy and warm
    Listening to the marching band
    Is nothing I am interested in

    These are the words French singer Georges Brassens sang more than 30 years ago... who would sing this today?

    Seeing this photo on the portal I thought you had friends with a balcony overlooking the Champs Elysees- that's the only way you can see a thing!

  12. PS - say what you want, these guys know how to march! Have you ever seen a more perfect order?

  13. ne pas confondre le défilé nazi du 14 JUIN 1940:

    " le 14 juin
    Les nazis sur les Champs-Elysées
    Paris est occupée par les troupes de la Wehrmacht.
    Les Allemands confisquent tous les drapeaux tricolores qui flottent sur les édifices publics et imposent le drapeau à croix gammée au sommet de l'Arc de Triomphe. Les journaux sont interdits, la capitale se met à l'heure de Berlin. Les troupes nazis effectuent leur premier défilé sur la plus belle avenue du monde. La capitale sera libérée le 25 août 1944.",

    avec celui du 14-juillet 1994 qui a vu défiler les Allemands de l'actuelle Allemagne .
    (cf Chrisos)

  14. I did my bit for Bastille Day (as best I could on a tropic island in the middle of nowhere) I had a glass of lovely sauvignon blanc (sorry - it was Australian - I TRIED to get French, really!!) and some garlic bread, and I sang a couple of French songs I knew - well most of the first verse.

    Great photo - it actually doesn't look real - looks like a painting!!! How did you manage to take this - I am amazed!!!!!

  15. happy July 14 Eric! this photo is impressive..even if stolen:)

  16. Magnificence! They are like "toys" since their moovements are so exact and precise!

  17. I can't really believe this is a real image - they are so well aligned! If it is, then whoever took it was blessed, and lined it up well!

    I went to try and take some photos but when I left the metro I realised I was already about 1 hour too late, so I went on to other things. In the end I just saw a few planes flying over in the distance. Never mind - next year I'll be there at 7 in the morning - for sure!

  18. Here in San Diego we celebrated with gigot d'agneau avec ses flageolets, and lots of rosé de Provence.

  19. > Zephyr. Yes I heard the fireworks was good. It always is in Paris. But apparently the one in Bastia was good too ;)

    > Sally. Actually I was really kidding when I mentioned the Germans marching on the Champs Elysées, because, now, for people of my generation - and the youger ones, it really does not mean anything. Now it's hard to imagine that 60 years ago Europe was at war.

    > Monica. The Légion is always very much ,liked. I d'ont know why. Probably because they look "funny" and determined and brave and we all know they all had a difficult background to day the least...

    > Vicky. I would love to go to Tahiti for Bastille Day, believe me!

    > Coltrane. "baguette boxes and free that is living!" LOL!

    > Chrisos. I concur (on the Légion...) About the "Europeans marching" I was actually referring to the Germans ;) but you are right there has been other European troops on the Champs Elysées since then, only this time each of the 27 countries was represented and that was a 1st.

    > Brussels DP. Some were really nice weren't. You tend to forget they are soldiers!

    > Tomate. I know, I wanted to go to the fireworks and then I had a "big flemme" LOL

    > Elsa. Thank you for the info. I did not remember that. A

    > Nathalie. LOOOOOOOL. Des amis vraiment TRES BIEN placés alors ! Ah c'est Georges Brassens. J'allais répondre Maxime Le Forestier. Funny how I thought watching the 14 Juillet Parade was te worst thing to do when I was a teenager and now I kinda enjoy it. I'm getting old, that's for sure Nathalie!

    > Janet. Je sais, je ne confonds évidemment pas. Je voulais juste faire un petit clin d'oeil. (actually I just wanted to make a little joke. I like the Germans very much.

    > Jules.? Bravo! (OK, I forgive you for the Australian wine, I know some Australians who are nice people here LOL!!). The photo? Simply a screen shot on my computer.

    > Zsolt. Thank you. It's not right to steal, but that is for the good cause LOL

    > Kate. Aren't they azing. I could have used the "clone Stamp" tool of Photoshop and this would have produce the same effect!

    > Paris Set me free. Actually the best would have been the rehearsals the days before. Do you still want to take a photo of me on my new scooter BTW??

    > Expat. Gigot d'Agneau et flageolets. Could that be more French???

  20. What a cool photo - they look like toy soldiers! I celebrated Bastille Day at the Hollywood Bowl to see composer/conductor John Williams lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic through timeless scores from films. We had an awesome picnic atop the hill and I brought vanille macarons from L'Artiste Patisserie, which is only one of three places in Southern California that make these delectable delights.

    I saved one for you, Monica, but I'm afraid it will go stale, so I'll have to just eat it myself! ;)

  21. I had a great 14 juillet, took some photos myself...some of the planes flying over the Champs Elysees, and of the fireworks. The French sure kow how to put on a show!

  22. je clique et ah, mais c'est la légion ^_^ ya pas à dire, ils m'impressionnent toujours autant. Jusqu'au lever du genou qui est presque synchronisé. Merci Eric.

  23. Pont Girl I don´t blame you for eating the last macaron... I´d probably do the same!!!

    Wow I must say it seems like you had a great time in the John Williams concert. I think he´s a genius of the soundtracks I would have enjoyed this a lot! I´ve been to Hollywood Bowl about ten years ago but not on a concert, just to visit it. I remember we got to go on stage! Great feeling!

  24. Eric
    You are an amazing photographer! You should not wish you had taken that picture...

  25. To Chrisos; The legionnaires you refer to are in fact very decent men of honour that is not so common these days. It is impossible to join with any criminal past as you are vetted closely by a group called le deuxieme bureau - part of europol. I can say that although many of these soldiers come from all over the world, they are fiercely proud to take part in the bastille day parade. In fact many legionnaires become proud to celebrate French honour and dignity as i did during my service previously.