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Let’s not lose sight of  beauty. Let’s not forget how to feel wonder and excitement and awe.

P1040105I would have posted this on Friday, but events interfered. Looking through the photos, I thought, wait, this is what is right with France.

IMG_2425Carcassonne put on a fantastic show. It was so democratic. It was free of charge. It drew  half a million people. They came on foot. They were well-mannered, even after the street lights were turned off (seriously, doesn’t it say something when the street lights are off and people still behave?). They didn’t even litter very much.

IMG_2421There were all ages, but all were the same age–kids–before the spectacle in the sky. The crowd sent up ooohs and aaahs in unison, frequently breaking out in applause, which the pyrotechnicians across the river had no way to hear.

IMG_2341The show began with a few small, bright flashes and big, deep booms. They picked up the cadence, then the lights started to bloom across the sky, illuminating the ramparts of la Cité in ghostly, colored light.

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IMG_2342It continued, like this, building ferocity until there was a storm of explosions overhead. Then it paused, letting us relax a little and realize that our hearts were racing and that we’d gotten goosebumps from the excitement.

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IMG_2478And it would pick up again. At one point, there were waves of fireworks from left to right, then right to left. They began lazily, then grew faster, then came from both directions at once, then led to a new round higher in the sky.

P1040092It was a ballet of light. Looking at the photos, I thought time and again of dancers in formation.

IMG_2350The highlight is the “embrasement” or burning, of la Cité, which dates to 1898. Though it was under siege in 1209 in the Albigensian Crusade, and finally surrendered, it never was burned down.

1 before dark
Before
3 embrasement
During

After 20 or 25 minutes, the explosions came so fast and furious, and were so spectacular, we thought it was the finale a couple of times over. Some 25,000 to 30,000 projectiles were fired. But the real finale was far bigger, building, building into a riot of light and color in the sky.

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Bravo, Carcassonne.

 

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18 thoughts on “Blazing, Amazing

  1. I love the fireworks and our town does them -but on a smaller scale. But since the arrival 5yrs ago of our dog that does not like the flash, whoosh and bang we have had to watch on TV. Carcassonne on the hill has such a great backdrop. Well done for the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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