If we are to rise above fear, we can only claim our freedom by celebrating life, pursuing beauty and embracing new experiences.
I’m writing you today because, as we enter the Holiday Season, I’m looking for inspiration. The recent events in Paris have hit us harder than you might know. The events of November 13th in Paris not only struck us as a human tragedy - one that we are a part of because of our shared humanity - but it also forced us to face the reality of terror itself, and ask the question of whether we would give in to fear.
Some of you know that Paris is our newest destination for 2016. We’ve spent the last few years in France, making sure we know how to entertain you, welcome you, and make you feel at home during Bastille Day, the French National Holiday on July 14th. We were just about ready to send you an invitation to join us in France for the happiest day of their year. Then tragedy struck, and Friday the 13th became their saddest day.
We considered cancelling the trip - knowing that many of you would understandably have concerns about traveling to Paris after the terrorist attacks. As a company, we actually have very little to lose in cancelling everything this far in advance. It actually is the financially prudent thing to do.
But something about it doesn’t feel right. I pictured myself calling the friends we’ve made over the years and telling them we’re too afraid to come to their country. Somehow, I feel like we would be handing another victory to the terrorists. They would have achieved their goal. By cowardly killing 129 people, they create fear around the world. In the span of one evening, a few psychopaths shifted global politics, made us think twice about venturing out, and planted a seed of fear in each of us.
You might want to take my perspective with a grain of salt… I’ve been mugged at knife-point in Rio, robbed at gunpoint in Peru, I was in Thailand when the Tsunami hit, and in Russia during the military coup of 1991. After each event, there were always good reasons to stay home. But something kept pushing me to keep on exploring. I’ve changed some of my travel habits to try to stay saf-er, but I also realize there is no such thing as absolute safety. Anywhere.
So, in a very small way, I want to send a message to the bad guys - that terror only works if we let it create terror in our hearts, and we stop living the freedom and joy that they aim to take away. Of course, I’m not saying you have to travel to France. For you, it might mean going to a football game or concert in your city, instead of avoiding public gatherings. The main thing is that, no matter where we live, we remember that we are strong, that we are in control of our lives, and that freedom will always win over fear in the long run.
For those of you who resonate with this message, and want to venture out further, I want to give you an opportunity to stand beside me on our penthouse terrace at the French Military Parade on July 14, 2016. It will mean more than ever to stand there and show respect to our oldest ally, who stood with America against tyranny in 1778, and has partnered with us in pursuit of democracy and liberty since 1789.
If you’d like to join me, please click here to review the trip details and make a deposit, showing your commitment. Your trip will have an impact in three ways:
I hope you will consider joining me as we celebrate life, pursue beauty and embrace new experiences together.
Vive la France,
Epic Bastille Day celebrations can be found in the few days leading up to this French national holiday.
The most famous of these events are the Firemen’s Balls that are held throughout Paris. The majority of the firehouses open their doors on July 13th and July 14th and host parties for the public. Many of these epic events are free to attend with a suggested donation. Funds raised go toward better living conditions for the firefighters as firehouses are often buildings with significant historical importance which can be expensive to maintain and restore. Today, firefighters in Paris are the experts in emergencies, disasters, accidents, and victim aid. Parisian firefighters are popular and well-respected so the community comes out in droves to celebrate with them on the eve of Bastille Day. Unless you’re on a VIP list, however, be prepared to wait in line for numerous hours before entry.
On the morning of Bastille Day, there is an impressive military parade that takes place along the Avenue des Champs Elysees. Spectators can enjoy flyovers by military aircraft, mounted troops, motorized military vehicles, and hundreds of troops on foot. There are numerous premier vantage points for viewing, but you’ll want to contact your tour company early as many of these are reserved for paying guests and sell out quickly.
Symphony and Fireworks
The lawn of the Eiffel Tower is the best location to view the spectacular fireworks show and enjoy the live symphony performance. Plan to arrive well in advance so that you can choose a good viewing spot. If the thought of the crowd seems overwhelming, consider watching this spectacular Bastille Day display from a cruise boat on the Seine.
Join in these epic celebrations to maximize your Bastille Day experience in Paris. Contact Bastille Day Tours for all of the best insights and tips for enjoying the best of these festivities!
There are many fun and creative ways to view the famous La Bastille fireworks in Paris.
The most traditional and popular way to view the Bastille Day fireworks is to find a spot at the Champ-de-Mars, the park at the base of the Eiffel tower. This vantage point will let you see the entire fireworks show (as not all of the fireworks are launched into the air) and hear the music from the symphony.
Scoping out a strategic location with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the beautiful Sacre Coeur in Montmartre will allow you to see the majority of the fireworks. This area is also crowded, so make sure to arrive early to hold the best viewing spots.
By far the least crowded Bastille Day option is to find a spot along the Boulevard Pasteur. This road has a downhill view of most of the Eiffel Tower. While you may not get the full effect, you can see the upper portions of the fireworks while still being close enough to hear the booms as the fireworks explode.
Another way to experience Bastille Day in Paris is by boat on the Seine. There are numerous cruise companies that offer this viewing option and the experience and price varies widely. Regardless of which you choose, reservations are quickly filled, so make sure to contact Bastille Day Tours as soon as possible.
While not quite land or water, several of the bridges across the Seine are closed for Bastille Day and offer prime viewing locations for the fireworks. Depending on which bridge you choose, you might be standing for hours, so make sure to plan accordingly.
While air might be a slight exaggeration, there are several ways to experience Bastille Day from higher-up. Numerous hotels and flats have windows or balconies that overlook the Eiffel Tower. Plus, the bar of the Hyatt hotel boasts views of the entire city. As with any of the Bastille Day festivities, it’s important to contact your tour company early so that you can access these prime accommodations before they are booked.