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Tour de France, Bastille Day News from France

bastille day fireworks eiffel tower

July in France is a big deal – first of all we have the Tour de France, the biggest sporting event on the planet, and we have Bastille Day – one of the most important national holidays of the year.

In my little corner of northern France we were lucky enough to have Le Tour come through the town. Normally sleepy and tranquil, people still talk about the time a bale of hay fell off a tractor into the road. Nothing much happens – I love it that way. Nothing much that is, except when the Tour de France came through this week!

The town was decked out in flowers and flags and the school band played rousing music for all they were worth. The Mayor proudly surveyed the hundreds of people who flocked to the sharp corner to watch the heroes of the cycling world hurtle down the hill past the church. They took the bend at a tremendous speed and then went up the hill past the boulangerie which had run out of bread that morning – and the great bread disaster will go down in the history of this town I can tell you.

As if that isn’t enough excitement, Monday 14th July is Bastille Day. In Paris and cities, towns and villages all over France, there will be celebrations to mark this important date in the French calendar which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and the first major event of the French Revolution.

The night before Bastille Day is when the Firemens’ Galas (Bals de Pompiers) commence. Not just in Paris, you’ll find this unique and rather quirky tradition in which the fire precincts all over France hold festivities until the early hours of the 14th July. Dancing, demonstrations and general bonhomie are guaranteed – don’t forget to make a donation at the door.

The Bastille Day fireworks in Paris are an institution (starting at 23.00 to 23.35) around the Eiffel Tower and we’ll be having fireworks too in our bit of France – this year I will be watching a display on the chateau ramparts at lovely Montreuil-sur-Mer.

Check out our feature on the Best places to watch the Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris

Thank you so much to everyone who has shared one of our articles (easy share buttons at the bottom of them all!) and supported us on Facebook andTwitter –  it is really hugely appreciated.

With best wishes and a very Bon weekend to you all
Janine

TOP FEATURES THIS WEEK:

Officially the best bread in northern France: I visited a baker who holds the title best baker in the north of France and – in the name of research – ate the most amazing bread and pastries…

How to fit in like a local: Expats in France will love the great advice Donna Kerridge has for shaking hands in the cafe to make sure you fit in like a local…

Roman Pont du Gard Aqueduct: Lucy Pitts discovers Romanesque ghosts in Uzes and a magnificent 17th Century hotel…

Wine Tasting under the Stars at the Chateau de Chenonceau: We attended a brilliant wine tasting event at this most beautiful of chateaux in the Loire Valley – you can too on 19th July for one special night – details in the link…

Uzes – the hidden gem of the south of France: Lucy Pitts oozes with delight at Uzes an ancient city with a lot of style in the south of France…

How come French kids eat everything? Australian Kate Peterson is married to a Frenchman and has a unique insight to the secret of French kids eating everything – including their vegetables…

There’s never been a better time to consider satellite internet in France: UKTelecom are the experts on satellite internet services in France and they’re offering discounted installation and tons of advice for those considering satellite over standard broadband to improve speeds or unreliable services…

London to Dordogne just got easier: The lovely Dordogne region is just an hour from London by plane and the new Brive airport is now operating 4 flights a week with prices starting at €19.99 one way…

Smartbel France – the door answering help via the phone: Read more about the new technology that allows you to speak to callers to your door via your phone or mobile…

July 2014 Euro/Sterling forecast from PureFX

 

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