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Bastille Day 2010

Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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Bastille Day 2010

We're planning on a trip to Europe and will be leaving the day before Bastille Day (our schedule doesn't permit us to stay longer, and while it sounds like a great party, we're not one for crowds). I searched here and did find some info, enough to make me wonder if we'll have trouble getting out of town on the night of July 13. We're planning on taking a night train to Barcelona. Any ideas on what to expect?

Thanks!

beeswing
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Perhaps you could provide some further info. Where will you be on July 13 - Paris, Montpellier, a little village in Alsace, Auvergne, ????? Do you need to get "out of town" to get to a train station, or do you need to get to the train station in town & then take the train "out of town"???

We've been in little villages & in the countryside during that period - and nothing much at all happened.

Never been in Paris then - but I can't imagine how any festivities would disrupt your getting to a train station there. We were in Paris once during New Year's Eve & several streets were clogged with people - but taxi drivers know how to navigate around these clogged streets.

Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry...our last day in Paris is July 13, and we're planning to take a night train to Barcelona that evening. Thanks so much for asking!

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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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I don't see why you'd have trouble getting OUT of Paris on the evening of July 13, if you've got train tickets. What station do you leave from? Montparnasse? Austerlitz? Just take the métro or a taxi and make sure you plan to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes in advance (more if you don't actually have your tickets in hand).
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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July 13th is a totally normal day. July 14th is quite normal, too, except for the Champs Elysées being closed in the morning and a big crowd on the Champs de Mars in the evening. I can't imagine anybody necessarily noticing that there is anything special about the day if they are not in those two places.
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Old Nov 13th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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There are some parties at the firehouses on the 13th, but I don't think that should be any big problem on getting out of town on a train. They usually start around 9 pm. I think it can be blocked off a bit right in front of some of the firehouses or at least very bad traffic.
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Old Nov 13th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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And why can't you change your schedule? Plenty of people would kill for a chance to be in Paris for the 14th.
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Old Nov 13th, 2009, 10:27 AM
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We can't change our schedule because we have only 3 weeks to travel. We're in Paris for 4 nights (but 5 full days because of the hotel train we're planning on taking)...leaving on July 14 wouldn't be practical (and would be pointless, if we wanted to see the festivities) -- so that would put us leaving 2 days later. We can't do that and see Barcelona...which is on my daughter's short list.

I'd be interested in experiencing Bastille Day. However, my husband would rather be shot than put up with those kinds of crowds.... We don't go to the 4th of July fireworks in our own city for the same reason.
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Old Nov 13th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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At this point we've already booked our airplane flights, but I have to ask. Should I have tried to move heaven and earth (or our schedule) by a few days to experience Bastille Day in Paris? We're hoping to stay at the Bonaparte, so I imagine you could see the fireworks within walking distance. My husband is very against crowds of any kind -- my daughter, however, sounded like she would have enjoyed it...as long as her parents didn't melt down from the crowd pressure.

I don't know if I could move the plane tickets if I wanted to (we booked through a travel agent and have 24 hours to cancel). But if you don't like crowds but do like cultural experiences, is Bastille Day a big "don't miss"?

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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 02:00 AM
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Yes, Bastille Day is special, but seriously, if your husband hates crowds, then don't do that to yourselves. Of course, he could always do something else that day while you and your daughter enjoy the day.

Honestly though, reading your post again, if your daughter really wants to see Barcelona, then stick with your original plant. If you stay in Paris and then end up hating the Bastille Day festivities you will be very cross.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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Anyway, the crowds will be everywhere in Paris and Barcelona in mid-July, with or without special events. Not really the best period of time for a crowd-hater to go.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Bastille Day is fun, but it's not like the entire city goes off line to celebrate. I've been in Paris on Bastille Day a couple times and it was nice seeing the fireworks but I would not plan an entire trip around it - especially if DH is crowd phobic. Stop fretting needlessly.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Do you like tanks? The parade which goes way outside the Champs Elysees includes French tanks passing through the streets. They are much bigger than you think, unless you live near a military base. They are not pleasant or attractive and are named after French battles, so they can test your knowledge of history
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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I've been in Paris probably at least 6 times on Bastille Day and rarely attend any of the events, in fact, I usually avoid them, as I do at home. It isn't your country or holiday, so I don't know why foreigners act like it is such a big deal, they don't do that about other country's independence day. Would you tell some foreigner they have to experience the Fourth of July in the US? I wouldn't. I've been to the military parade once, and that was interesting, but I hate crowds and am not that crazy about parades (nor the military, frrankly), to want to do that again. I just like the day because it's a holiday, and the city makes some of the monuments/museums free on that day -- like the Pantheon, which isn't usually that crowded as no one wants to go there that much. Would not recommend the Louvre on that day as it was so claustrophobic, I walked out as soon as I got around the downstairs area near the shops.
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