Bastille Day in Montpellier

It’s been really really hot down here, there is no wind, not a whiff, which means the heat seems to build up during the day and it’s quite suffocating. We resorted to putting Charlie in the bath and showering him with very tepid water, he’s finding it quite hard going – that’s why we’re so pleased when it’s cooler to take him out. He really doesn’t need exercise as such, but it’s nice to think he’s exploring different smells!

Today is the 14th July, which is Bastille Day in France. Almost everything has ground to a halt, the shops are shut, the city is eerily quiet. We got up very early this morning, it was before 6! We took advantage of the cooler air and took Charlie for a walk to the local park, he was so contented lying in the shade under the trees. The only other times he’ll be going out today is for a quick wee every now and then and maybe (if we’re lucky) the wind will pick up and blow some of the accumulated heat away and we’ll take him out for a potter later this evening.


The, rarely, deserted streets of Montpellier


Got the old city to ourselves!

We walked down to the main square, Place de la Comedie, where there was the Bastille Day Parade. It started off with a fly past over the square.


Military flypast in Montpellier


Does this remind anyone of Space Invaders?

All the services were gathered, the fire service, the army, the marines, the police along with the veterans and others that I didn’t recognise!IMG_4056


Just love the red pompoms


These guys must’ve been cooking in their uniforms


They all looked so smart but what the photos don’t show is the heat, it was absolutely boiling hot. The ground of the square is polished marble and it is bright and very, very hot. I couldn’t believe how these guys managed for as long as they did, especially the fire-fighters!. Well, actually they didn’t!

This is a photo of the trainee squad of Fire Fighters.They started out brilliantly, I did notice they were the only ones who had bottles of water with them.


Squad of trainee Fire Fighters



Bottles of water at the ready

Then, one by one, they started falling like flies, one after the other, being escorted off for medical attention, overcome by the heat, It really was most unpleasant and I really felt for them.


Not feeling too good!

This next photo was taken just before the guy in the middle actually collapsed! He hit the marble floor and it made the most incredible thud, he was carried off. I hope he recovered, poor thing..


Just before the fall, you can see the discomfort here.

This photo is of one of the Fire Fighters being taken to the ambulance for treatment.


Being helped to receive medical treatment.

It was such a shame, they all did so well to hold on for as long as they did.  The dog handler was obviously very concerned about his canine partner and ended up asking a local cafe owner for a bowl of water, for his Black German Shepherd, who by this time had given up completely! Bless him, he’d started out sitting beautifully by his owner’s side but ended up lying down, absolutely exhausted. I noticed the handler didn’t wait for everyone to fall out at the end of the parade, he took his dog off into the shade. Very reassuring to see.


Down boy!

The guys that lasted the course where of course the Vets … how amazing are these guys?


The tough guys


Fortunately, the parade didn’t last too long but there was quite a lot of standing about, it was incredibly moving to see 7 guys receiving medals, for action in the battlefield, two received Legion of Honour medals and I couldn’t help glance at the family members who were suffering  in the heat but filled with pride.


Medals that were being awarded.


Proud families watch as medals are given out

And to finish off, just a couple more photos that I found quite interesting, hope you do too!


Facial hair not a problem in France then?


An officer and a gentleman?



We found this quite shocking, a fag while on duty!!!


Clever lady with a Parasol


This guy really seemed to be enjoying himself, dancing along to the music!


The Maire of Montpellier – Mr Philippe Saurel

2 thoughts on “Bastille Day in Montpellier

  1. I have been to the south of France on Bastile day also and also felt that heat, I could als,out smell the heat with the description you gave. I just love that lace parasol it was smashing, I have a plain white oneof similar style not as pretty as that one. We met beg some of that wetaher. I hope. X x x x x x x

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