Arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport feels like arriving anywhere else. You know you are in France, but your taxi is long (personally, I think planes land in Normandy and taxi to Rouissy) and the terrain is boring. I mean, it's a runway. How fascinating can it be?
As the shuttle van heads for Paris, the landscape remains bland. The suburban sprawl you see outside the taxi window could be anywhere. The gleaming white towers of Sacre Coeur are your first indication, that, yes, this is Paris.
So it was on my first entrance to Paris.
My second indication was the Place de La Bastille. The Colonne de Juillet was the second landmark I recognized on the initial visit to Paris. Then, I knew that we were finally in Paris.
This landmark commemorates the French Revolution of July 1830. But because it is placed near the location of the Bastille, which was stormed on July 14, 1789, we often connect it with that earlier revolution.
Doesn't matter to me. July is my birthday month, and you might say it is France's birthday, too. So I feel a special connection with this monument.
I'm celebrating Bastille Day by spending time in my kitchen, something I've not had much time for lately.
Vive la France!