Saturday, July 19, 2014

Postcard from Paris

Last week's visit to Paris coincided with Bastille Day, France's most important national holiday. 'Le 14 juillet' is celebrated throughout the country with dinners, dances and fireworks in the evenings, and in Paris, a magnificent military parade on the Champs-Élysées takes place in the morning.


Visiting Paris on Bastille Day is a special and memorable event, even if you don't join the crowds along the Champs-Élysées and around the Eiffel tower. The atmosphere is magical, particularly until lunchtime, where in large parts of town the traffic is completely stopped.  A usually bustling city wrapped in silence feels almost unworldly, and is further heightened in places where a lot of people are gathered.. even large crowds can't replicate the sound level that traffic produces.


When we stepped out of our hotel in the morning, the only sign of the parade (which took place a few miles away, across the river Seine) was the fly past of the French Air Force, roaring in the sky and reflecting in the windows of Saint-Germain's town houses. We walked through quiet and empty boulevards and streets to a nearby café.. no traffic noises, no cars, and very few people. Just as we were about to cross the road to have our coffee,

 

the eerie silence was suddenly broken by marching feet and military songs. To everyone's astonishment a French Foreign Legion Corps came marching and singing down the street, 

video


followed by troops of the French Army and Navy, armoured vehicles and tanks. With only a handful of people around to watch, this was one of the most memorable parades I ever saw (note to email subscribers: if you can't see the video, please click here)


The events on the Champs-Élysées finished around noon, and afterwards the streets were filled with cadets, soldiers, legionnaires and officers who met up with their families, friends or girlfriends.



Many went on to have lunch in the nearby cafés and restaurants (below: Francois Felix in the Rue Boissy d'Anglas)







Capsule wardrobe # 138



Capsule wardrobe pieces: red jeans, white tank top and dark blue blazer 
Accessories: Hermès 'Fantaisies Indiennes' Mousseline GM, chaine d'ancre printed enamel bracelet, Muse belt buckle with rouge garrance belt strap and Bolide in Bleu de Prusse
Shoes: blue patent leather pumps Marlène by Roger Vivier)
Scarf tying method: as in previous post





Le Saint-Germain: 62 rue du Bac, 75007 Paris, Tel + 33 1 45 48 99 69
Bistrot François Felix: 9, Rue Boissy d'Anglas, 75008 Paris, Tel +33 1 42 65 04 08



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28 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the excitement of Paris on Le 14 juillet! I have always wondered what it might be like!

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    1. Thank you Lauren, happy you enjoyed the post!

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  2. Bonjour Maitai, wow, what wonderful photo's from Paris! looks like you had a fantastic time - as usual. I wonder if you could do an outfit, showcasing the current colour trends for summer/autumn soon? I am sure one of your beautiful scarves contain elements of what people are wearing at the moment. Many thanks. Best wishes. Susan x

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    1. Hello Susan, we had a wonderful time, thank you! Re your question, I don't really follow color trends, and have not noticed any dominating colors on the streets either.. But if you have a particular color in mind (and I happen to have it in my closet) I'd be very happy to do a post :-)

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    2. Thanks Maitai, I would love to see how you would wear navy with gold, not as easy as it sounds to me, as "I feel" It can be a little ageing if not done correctly, and sometimes a bit brassy? I know you are a very busy lady, so I hope you will have the time sometime! I follow you religiously, as its a lovely experience for all concerned to share in not only your life, but your varied adventures! I think I can speak for others too! Warmest regards Maitai, Susan x

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    3. Thanks so much for the kind words, so happy you enjoy the posts.. whether they are scarf related or not :-) Great style challenge re navy and gold, many thanks. I don't have any gold pieces at the moment, but might look into some costume jewelry... it sounds fun! Warmest best wishes x

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  3. Well, that's quite the show, lovely to see it celebrated in situ, I went to the Edinburgh version last Monday and envied all of the chic French bobs.

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  4. Great day to visit this iconic day...love your outfit choice too, tres chic!

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  5. How stylish are those Legionnaires in their uniforms!

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  6. The French Foreign Legion fellows are so chic! Loved this post. I celebrated Bastille Day too with soufflé cassoulet champagne and apple tart. Vive la France. x

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    1. Your celebration menu sounds wonderful! Vive la France x

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    2. jakoldra@yahoo.frJuly 20, 2014 at 8:18 PM

      Merci chère Maïtaï j'aime votre site ,les carrés H et votre bon goût.Mais là je suis particulièrement touchée par votre post car je suis fille ,femme et mère d'officiers. C'est vrai qu'ils ont de l'allure nos militaires .Merci de voir aussi la beauté des petites et grandes choses Bravo et sincères félicitations affectueusement Jacqueline O

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    3. Chère Jacqueline, je vour remercie pour votre gentil commentaire. Je suis d'accord avec vous concernant d'allure de militaires français! J'espère vous et votre familie ont passé un très beau fête national. Amitiés

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  7. Oh what a lovely surprise to have such an intimate viewing of the Bastille Day parades - it is always lovely to stumble across something unexpected like this! Thank you for sharing. SAx

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    1. It was truly special and fabulous, so glad you enjoyed the post!

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  8. I was there last week too and it was a special moment for everyone!

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    1. Oh so nice to know! Hope you had a fabulous time!

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  9. Oh, don't the men look handsome in their uniforms -- vive la France! I love that you chose the Bastille Day colors to make your capsule wardrobe. Thank you for sharing the little video clip - it's such a stirring song I had to go out and find the whole thing on YouTube!
    Warm aloha,
    Fifi

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    1. Agree with you on the uniforms, dear Fifi! I tried to find the song on YouTube, without success... if you happen to have a link, it would be lovely if you could post it here!

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  10. What a wonderful vacation you enjoyed! And the surprise of the troops marching by--a fantastic experience--your video was almost like being there. And do my eyes deceive me, or is that a woman 'manning' the rocket launcher? I love it! I especially loved your outfit, but wish we could have seen a photo of it! Or are you hiding somewhere among those handsome men in uniform?!

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    1. I'm so glad I rememberd the video button on my camera just in time! Your eyes were seeing right...quite a few women took part in the parade. No pictures of me this time though, I was so busy taking shots of the day's events that I completely forgot!

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  11. Merci MAITAI pour se si joli post .
    Mon beaufils a defilé 2 fois et c'etais toujours la féte .Mais avant beaucoup de répétition
    Belle semaine Je vous embrasse
    MYRIAM

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    1. Merci chère Myriam, woaw votre beaufils a participé...quelle honneur! J'imagine la préparation pour le défilé prend beaucoup de temps, c'est toujours parfait!

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  12. It's always such a great event!
    How lucky you are to see it in such close proximity.

    Do you think the Legionnaires still wear Palladium boots?

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    1. Palladium boots! Will have to google this...

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