Fête du 14 Juillet 2015 – Chinon

We extended our holiday to take in the Bastille Day celebrations in the Loire Valley this year. Even when the family used to spend the summer in Normandy, I contrived to miss most 14 July celebrations, much to my regret ‘cos I love fireworks. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a march-past of Sapeurs Pompiers as much as the next man, and even a parade of children with lanterns doesn’t leave me unmoved. But it’s the feu d’artifice that crowns the evening!

Rolandiere 081a

We’d warmed up by going to the local town, L’île-bouchard, on the thirteenth, when they had their festival. And jolly good it was too. We’d managed to get a really good position on the bridge, looking out towards the river bank where the fireworks were let off. The crowd was in a good mood, and the display was very professional. But this was a mere appetiser for the next night at Chinon.

We turned up early and took chairs, finding ourselves a place in the front row of the stalls, facing the castle. The advice from the owners of the La Rolandiere campsite proved invaluable:

Rolandiere 066a

It was a long wait, but various entertainments were happening on the river.  And we took a picnic!

It was a long wait, but various entertainments were happening on the river. And we took a picnic!

Then, finally, the music started, and the river was lit with floating red flares.

Then, finally, the music started, and the river was lit with floating red flares.

The castle itself was lit with spotlights and with fireworks.

The castle itself was lit with spotlights and with fireworks.

Whilst on our side of the river were the aerial displays.

Whilst on our side of the river were the aerial displays.

The theme of the evening was famous movies.  This rather eery scene was accompanied by Harry Potter music.

The theme of the evening was famous movies. This rather eery scene was accompanied by Harry Potter music.

And so to a musical crescendo ...

And so to a musical crescendo …

... that ended the evening literally with a bang!

… that ended the evening literally with a bang!

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