Bastille Day in France: The Fireworks in Carcassonne

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If you are just tuning in, check out part I of our account of spending Bastille Day in France here.

French wine in Carcassonne FranceWith nothing else to do for 10 hours, I am “doing as the Romans do,” sitting on the bank of the Aude river getting slightly tipsy on French wine (ok, if you asked my travel companion he probably would tell you that I was a little more than slightly tipsy…but that might be for another story…)

It is now 4:30pm and the best spots on the bridges are now taken, so if you are coming to Carcassone on Bastille Day and you want a spot on one of the bridges, I suggest arriving by 3:00pm at the very latest.  See the map in the previous post if you need more information about where to sit.

Carcassonne France on Bastille Day

There is a festive atmosphere in the air.  Local restaurants are playing music and everyone is having fun, making the best of their time while waiting for the fireworks.


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The brightness and heat of afternoon begin to fade as the sun goes down, beingFestivities on the Aude river in Carcassonne France on Bastille Day replaced by coolness accompanied by a growing sense of excitement and anticipation that seems to spread through the crowd.

As it gets close to show time, spontaneous chants erupt from the banks of the river around me.

Everyone waits anxiously for the moment when the transition to darkness is complete and the show starts (at approximately 10:30pm).

Our long wait was well rewarded.  Here are highlights of what we saw on Bastille Day in France:

(If you can’t see the video below, please click on this link):


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