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!
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: