14th July

This year the 14th July fell on a Saturday. The same weekend we had the final of the World Cup, which, by a strange freak of chance, was France versus Croatia.

I foolishly chose to go up onto « my » hill which overlooks the city – foolishly because the shots are pretty much identical to last years ones…

If you enlarge the picture, you can see people lining the « escalier monumentale » – just under the left hand edge of the fireworks.

Then on Sunday evening I went out again, after the triumphal win of France 4-2 over Croatia, as I had a sneaking suspicion that the town hall might be lit up with the national colours.

And I was right! The whole of the top of Auch was cordonned off and there were quite a number of people out – these girls were having a wonderful time in the illuminated fountains!

However, the image that I thought summed things up, for me at least, was taken by a French Airforce photographer, standing underneath the Arc de Triomphe.

I can imagine the photographer, after having had the idea to do the shot, getting himself lined up under the archway as the Alphajets screamed along the Champs Elysées, opening his left eye to line up the leader with the centre of the arch as they closed in, simply moving backwards and forwards across the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, hoping that the wind would blow the flag out of his way, then firing shot after shot as the jets came into shot. Fantastic – I don’t know who you are, but this is a terrific shot – well done.

Note: although this image is presented on the web facing in this direction, I’m pretty sure the original image has been reversed – firstly, the Alpha Jets of the French Airforce fly North-West/South-East (from right to left with the sun in this position) along the Champs Elysées, and secondly the sun would not be as far to the right (West) at 12h when the planes overfly the parade. Lastly (and after much research) the French Victories  « Mantou » and « Tagliamento » are amongst those engraved on the Southern pillar. Therefore this image is facing the correct direction.