Today — on Bastille Day — you can travel to France even while staying at home. (Or, as the French celebrate on this day, La Fête Nationale.)
The storming of the Bastille is a purely symbolic moment, and had little role either in the practical success of the French Revolution and little relation to revolutionary ideals. The crowd initially went to the Bastille in search of gunpowder. Most prisoners had already been removed, there simply weren’t political prisoners there to be freed.
And as a symbolic moment, it’s perfect for a day dreaming moment — celebrate France by thinking about a visit there, about French food and wine, where you’d stay, and how you’d (book your award to) get there. Get yourself there before Cola-flavored wine takes hold!
Now, the US and France have an odd relationship. Whether promoting ‘Freedom Fries,’ deriding cheese-eating surrender monkeys, or mocking the French regulatory state,
What they’re doing is turning the whole country into a big theme park. You go to Franceland. You have the cheese, you have the wine, you look at some castles, it’s a lovely place to visit. But does much new come out of France anymore, is it dynamic? No.
… the U.S. retains a fascination with and even inferiority complex relative to the French… their culture, their wine, their food. It’s both aspirational and intimidating.
Oddly enough more than 40 US cities celebrate Bastille Day.
Vive la France!
All the negativity about France was the result of their refusal to join the Iraq liberation effort.:)
Few years back, Tony Blair, the unofficial salesman of our agenda, admitted in a TV interview that the French had been proven to be right on each of the 4-5 reasons that they gave for not joining our effort. But our ego or maybe inferiority complex, as you suggest, refuses to let go of every chance to insult them by calling them names. It is sad to see those sad things being touched upon in this apolitical travel blog too. Why not let the issue rest and make no reference to it or mention it at all. Is it not possible to have a write up without bringing up the fries and cheese labels?
Reading this from … Paris … Perhaps I will go watch the fireworks …
Come February, my US Airways card is providing me a r/t to Europe, for only 30k miles. From SFO, going to Madrid, flying home from Paris. Feb is off-peak time, and yes, I know it’ll probably be somewhat wintry there, but still, 30k to Europe and back. Now to figure out what to do with the remaining 10k miles, from the 40k signup bonus
So true Ram…..but for some it goes back to DeGaulle showing foreign troops the door in 1966…….French just see no reason for foreign troops to be stationed on their soil……most Americans must honor that position as I don’t see any NATO forces on US soil……..and the French did support Gulf War 1 as did all of NATO as it was a response to an invasion……..When Gulf War 2 became an “invasion” the French gracefully refrained from participation and continued to design the top fashions, cook the best cuisine, create the best wines, construct the best roads, and in general live a superior life……VIVE LA FRANCE!
Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. One of NATO’s two major military commands is hosted in Norfolk VA. Just sayin’
Sure for readers of this blog some of this may be true France is hell to do business, however while they might not know it in the USA: for the middle classes France remains a sort of heaven that only existed for a few years and for whites in the USA after the New Deal.
Employment for life, national health care, good retirements, lots of well maintained parks and recreation areas, guaranteed vacation time, right to form unions and strike, good well paying blue/pink collar jobs etc…
The French mostly go along with the USA agenda witness the willingness to block the Bolivian Presidents Plane’s departure from Europe on the United States request. They are USA lapdogs just like everybody else in Europe, they just have to play up differences for their own domestic audience.