The City of Light: Paris 2014
There's no bad time to visit Paris, but if you want to see why they call it The City of Light (La Ville-Lumière,) come for La Fête Nationale (the French National Day).
The city's nickname, often misnamed 'City of Lights,' originated during the Age of Enlightenment when Paris was the center for education and ideas. In 1828, Paris began lighting the Champs-Elysées with gas lamps, the first city in Europe to do this.
As if their gifts to the world of wine, love, food, and fashion aren't enough, the French put on a sound and light show nonpareil.
Commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille, and celebrating the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790, the national holiday ends with a magnificent fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower starting at 11:00 pm (it's not dark till then).
This year's theme, Guerre et Paix (War and Peace) included live opera and a symphony orchestra.
We thought we had 'good seats' directly under the Eiffel Tower, but the city was ablaze and best captured in this video.
The pyrotechnic/musical extravaganza, filled with Cirque du Soleil acrobatic magic and illuminations capturing a proud country's turbulent history, ended with John Lennon's "Imagine."
Vive La France!