Last night the firecrackers and bottle rockets began. This morning we ate breakfast watching squadrons of tankers, fuelers, fighters, and helicopters fly past our window. They were flying over the parade down Camps-Elysees, which we chose to avoid. Many shops and other businesses are closed today to celebrate French independence from monarchy…Bastille Day. Please check this link to see great photos of the celebration.
Although we skipped the parade (and will not view the fireworks later tonight) we did venture downtown to the Musee d’Orsay. An international exhibit of Manet will close this weekend and we didn’t want to miss it. Therefore, we walked the 3-4 miles to the museum (following the Left Bank), saw a military convoy cross Place Bastille, visited the padlock symbols of love on Pont des Arts, stood in line with the crowds, negotiated an artiste pass for Jean (she had a membership card that I lack), and bumped through the crowded exhibit. It was worth it. I believe that this exhibition is coming to San Francisco next winter. Those of you who are interested should keep a lookout for it. It includes Manet works from collections all over the world. Click the link above to see as much of the exhibit as you can. Photography is not allowed.
After the museum we walked back following the Right Bank to Place Bastille (the scene of the action during the revolution, but now a relatively staid square housing the opera house). From there it was just a couple of kilomiters to home with a few stops for macarons, wine, and a bagette for dinner. Wine, cheese, olives and bread for dinner with multi-flavored macarons for dessert. Who could ask for anything else?