Happy Bastille Day everyone! Three years ago, I was celebrating this French holiday with my Mum, sisters and our family friends in their Paris flat. Bastille Day is one of those big public holidays that requires every Frenchman to be with their friends and/or family, and the whole of the country celebrates. Even the smallest villages have parades, fireworks, parties, communal meals; everything is done to make Bastille Day special.
Out of the 4 Bastille Days my family have spent living in France, the one we had in Paris was my favourite. The day was spent watching the endless military parade that is done and broadcast every year, and standing in the garden to see the fly pass drone over La Defence under the backdrop of a perfect blue sky. The evening was spent on an island in the Seine with a picnic basket and a bottle of champagne, before scrambling onto the highest vantage point (in our case, a bridge) and watching the fireworks fly off the Eiffel Tower. It was crowded and hectic, I got bitten by a nasty Seine mosquito and my foot swelled up to twice its size, but the atmosphere was nothing but friendly and fun and, well, French.
I’m hoping that next year I will be France again for Bastille Day. Other years have been more low key, like this year when my family have nothing planned but a glass of champagne on the balcony. Or like the year we joined the parade through our village with candle lanterns on the end of sticks before watching fireworks set off in a field nearby. But no matter how little or large a Bastille Day might pan out to be, I will miss being in France for it this year.
I wouldn’t, however, trade it in for the amazing time I am having in Munich. In the best way possible my trip here has just made me realise how much my heart is in France. I am so excited for the move to London with friends come September, but I know that I am too impatient not to look beyond that. Bar completely falling in love with London second time around, France beckons in the long run. So although I am not celebrating the storming of the Bastille in France today, it’s nice to know I may have plenty to come down the line. Tonight I will simply raise a glass of Radler over my schnitzel and toast to La Belle France from here in Bavaria: liberté, egalité fraternité to you all!