15 July 2013

Le défilé du 14 juillet — marching in the parade

Yesterday we marched for a short distance in Saint-Aignan's annual défilé du 14 juillet — the town's Bastille Day parade. We didn't plan it; it just happened.

We had gone down to Saint-Aignan in the morning to show our visiting friends the town and to take some photos. We went up to the château for the panoramas and down into the crypt of the church to see the medieval wall paintings. We walked through the narrow streets of the old town down by the Cher River.

Then we walked back up to the big parking lot of a square at the top of the town, where we had left the car. We heard oom-pah-pah music in the distance and we notice three or four bright red  fire department vehicles on the square. The parade, consisting of a dozen firemen in shiny helmets and several musicians, was just forming and starting to move.

As some other tourists or local people starting following the marching band and the firemen, our friend Harriet said we had to join in. We stepped off our sidewalk viewing point and marched with the crowd who, like us, were in shorts and t-shirts enjoying the fine weather.

After a few minutes, we split off and watched the parade disappear down Saint-Aignan's main street before we went to the grocery store on the other side of the square to pick up some supplies for lunch.

It was a great way to start a day that included a five-kilometer walk with Callie, our short Saint-Aignan tour, followed by lunch at home on the terrace — Walt made us a delicious clafoutis with cherries we picked the day before — and visits to the Château de Chenonceau and the town of Amboise.


  1. Everybody loves a parade! But you got to be in one! Yippee! Not many visitors can have a story like that to share~

  2. Love these photos. They show off the town so well!

  3. Would that be the 'Coccinelle' grocery store? I bought an excellent 'coeur de boeuf' tomato there in June. It was huge and made a nice tomato salad for the three of us :) Martine

  4. Thanks for the pictures. At the risk of focusing on minutiae, I like seeing the pictures of "Le St Aignan".
    In late January, I stumbled into Le St Aignan around 8pm. The barkeep was kind enough to listen to my stumbling "poulet et des frites avec un verre de vin blanc". He nodded OK, sat me at a table and disappeared. It was only then I noticed the kitchen was closed.
    He emerged to fill my glass, then a while later, served the chicken. All the while he carried on a conversation with a couple of regulars.
    Nice town you live in.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?