At the weekend I went to Le Touquet, the lovely little seaside resort on the Opal Coast in Pas-de-Calais.
It was a special occasion – the Patrouille de France were there to conduct a display on the seafront – miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, to celebrate the Centenary of the town of Le Touquet.
The Patrouille de France is the official squad of the French Air Force. Its mission is to represent the Air Force and be an ambassador of French aeronautics and France abroad. They are stationed in Salon de Provence Air Base 701 and are considered one of the best aerobatic formations in the world.
I arrived in Le Touquet, the sun was shining, the sky was blue – just a few clouds and thousands and thousands of people were on the beach to see the amazing demonstration of eight Alphajet planes.
I was not disappointed and nor was anyone else judging from the amount of “ooh’s” and “ah’s” and ”oh la la’s” going on around me as I stood on the sea wall!
It was a breath-taking display of loop the loops, crossings in the sky, diamond formations and even the figure of a love heart pierced by an arrow at the end. Throwing red, white and blue smoke behind them as they seemed to be inches from each other – crossing the clear horizon upside down or carving figures in the sky such as a palm tree or a patriotic ribbon of national colours.