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Bastille Day, France. Honfleur Celebrations – Day 2

18 November 2009 3 Comments

Tuesday 14th July 2009 – France

We took a trip into Honfleur harbour and enjoyed the Bastille Day celebrations, with fireworks flying off in all directions. It was great fun.

Honfleur HarbourWoke up at 11 this morning and had breakfast in the glorious sunshine. Chatted for a while then went into Honfleur town for lunch. We weren’t aware at this point but today was actually Bastille Day, a very big public holiday in France. So what is Honfleur like during Bastille Day?..

The town was already getting busy, with people coming in from all directions, and a few large fireworks being let off in the street as people walked by. It was great fun. We had a pizza and laughed at how crazy it was that people were getting away with letting these loud fireworks off.

We walked around some of the shops, not really looking for anything in particular, then found ourselves at a hat store. I actually needed a hat. But, astonishingly we were practically thrown out of this hat store for presumably trying on the hats. It appeared the shop keeper wasn’t prepared to sell us a hat. He said he has to work, and wouldn’t take my money, then told us to leave. We were amazed. I can honestly say I’ve never been thrown out of a hat store before, Crazy!

Bastille Day CelebrationsA little taken aback, we walked off to the main harbour where large crowds had gathered to watch something. A group of men were taking it in turns to run up a pole and grab the flag at the end. One after the other, they fell off and ended up in the harbour water, it was very entertaining, and didn’t take long before Dave and i were cheering them on with the rest of the crowd, applauding worthy attempts to grab the flag. Eventually one careful run and a lunge saw one of the guys retrieve the flag, and the crowd that was now gathered around the whole of the harbour, erupted into a loud cheer. It was great!

We made our way through the crowds of people and went back to the barn to relax and have a sleep before the evening fireworks display.

Back in Honfleur, there were even more people than before. People were waiting for the fireworks to begin, and we found our spot and waited there. All around us people were letting their own fireworks off. Even small children were running around with fireworks in their hands. Fireworks were being let off in the street, on the floor in amongst people, in an archway to a building creating a massive bang each time one went off. People even held them in their hands as they fired off in all directions, it was incredible. The lack of police presence was laughable, yet there was no trouble from anyone. A small parade walked through the crowd with a police car escort, and one firework was thrown under the car as it drove by. The police stopped, looked at the crowd where it came from, then carried on driving.

The fireworks eventually started, and were pretty impressive. I would say that they were among the best I’ve ever seen, very impressed. We had to drive back through the crowds of people to get out of the town at the end of the evening, and all the while fireworks were going off past the car. It was quite scary.

All in all it was a truly great evening, and i will definitely find myself in France next time this comes around. We stayed up and chatted til 5am, reflecting on the day, and remembering old times, as i was leaving in the morning. I had a really good couple of days here, a great way to start my travels.

Cheers Dave!

Click here to view more pictures from today, and throughout my trip around France

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  • Scotty Stevens said:

    Can’t believe you got thrown out of a hat shop, man!

  • dan said:

    I know! really rock n roll eh!

  • Kareem Warren said:

    Really great writing. Honestly.

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