lundi 16 juillet 2012
Saturday morning, we watched the parade in Paris on tv, and then in the afternoon we drove to Toulon.
Our brother-in-law, Nicolas, is in the French Army. He was required to march in the Toulonais parade, and asked if we would like to come and see it.
We figured it was a good opportunity to get out of the house, see Lucie (Alain's sister) and one of their two rugrats (Anna - well into the terrible three's). The other, Manon almost 9, had left for camp for three weeks.

I was afraid that the autoroute would be packed with people on their way to the Côte d'Azur for the holidays, but it wasn't too bad. In about an hour we had arrived. Nicolas had warned us that the center of the city would be blocked off, so we took a detour, which was a bit backed-up, but made it finally around 4. Nicolas had already left, to pick up his rifle, be inspected, and practice.   His parents were visiting as well.

A little after five we hopped a bus downtown. We walked past the troops in rank and order (mainly Navy, as Toulon has a semi-large Naval base). The poor men and women had been standing out there for at least an hour.

On the shady side of the street, but still. Having spent many hours in parades myself, I definitely sympathized. We found Nicolas, and Anna (atop his father's shoulders) screamed Papa! and kept trying to get him to wave. He kinda blinked and wiggled his eyebrows in response. We found an area with a good view, and waited, thinking the parade would start at 6. Wrongo.

The boring inaudible speeches and medal-giving started at 6, with the parade starting at 7. This was a bit (okay, way) too long for Anna, who kept complaining that her stomach hurt, and Caca! (the equivalent of Poopoo!) as loud as possible. Lucie took her to the bathroom three times, but boredom was the main problem.
The parade started a bit after 7 and took all of 15 minutes. The troops marched by, followed by lots and lots of firetrucks. I am convinced that no National celebration is complete without firetrucks. Whether we are talking small town Colorado or Paris, France, the firetrucks must be present.

After the parade was over, everyone cleared out pretty quickly. We walked back to the bus stop, and waited. And waited. We must have waited at least half an hour for the damn bus. I was all for taking a taxi, since it was about 5 minutes away by car, but the others vetoed me. Hey, after 2 hours of standing and the prospect of not being able to fit on the bus even when it comes by....

By the time we got back to the apartment, Nicolas had already boarded the bus back to the base, checked in his equipment, and driven back to Toulon. We ordered some pizzas, and chowed down. Alain and I left a bit after 10, and saw some fireworks from the car on the way back.

Happy four (teenth) of July!

2 commentaires:

Starman a dit…

That was a lot of trouble for a fifteen minute parade. I very much like your new layout!

Michel a dit…

At least you got to see a celebration for the holiday, in Sablet they don't do anything at all. Now for the Fete de Belge, big doings will be going on. Go figure.

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