3.7.16

Panic, Paris, Peace


I am currently in Paris for the weekend and last night I thought I was going to die. I had gone to the Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower to see the live broadcast of the Germany - Italy game. There were thousands of people and the atmosphere was amazing: nice weather, people out with their families and friends, having beers, eating pizza. When the game moved into extra time after 90 minutes, all of a sudden there was a bang and everyone around me started off running in panic. 

Given the fact that the city has changed so much since I last visited; security everywhere, bag checks at shops, in and around the metro, everyone was panicking. To enter the Champ de Mars I had gone through three bag and body checks. There is tension all around and when the panic broke out last night, I just ran. I ran so fast that at some point I tripped and fell, injuring my arm and scratching my knee and hand. One guy kind of stopped and told me to get up and go on. We were running towards the Eiffel Tower but as we were in a fenced area, we couldn't go further. 

No one had a clue about what was going on. It was really horrific. I thought, 'this is it!'. I remember that security men were running around as well. Then they told us that we could go back as it had turned out to be a false alarm. I returned but I felt so sick and nauseous. I have never fainted but yesterday I was very close to. After I had noticed that I was bleeding on my elbow, I headed towards the medic tent to get a bandage. But I saw that many other people were much worse off. Some were on stretchers, others lying on the ground being given first aid. My little injuries were really minor compared to theirs. 

I could no longer focus on the game and I decided to go back to my hotel. All along the way I saw people who had been disconnected from their friends, people hurting, it was ugly. 

Today I read in the news that the alert had been caused by someone lighting firecrackers. Here is a video that shows the crowd when the panic broke out. 



Unfortunately this is today's reality in Paris... Military men walking around with machine guns. I don't know if it has been like this since last autumn or whether it's only due to the Euro 2016, or both. I just hope that we can go back to living without having to be afraid about one another. 

I promise that my next post will be more positive!

27 comments

  1. Oh gosh, that sounds/looks really scary. I can understand why people are so on edge these days. I'm glad you're okay!

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  2. That was an horrific experience. There are more military around in Paris. When I was in Rome in May, they had military, usually in
    pairs guarding the religious and major sights and the Metro stations. At least, the cities there in Europe are safer now than before.

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  3. That sounds absolutely terrifying! I'm sorry to hear that you injured yourself while running but glad that you're okay and it was nothing more than a false alarm. It's scary but sadly because of terrorism this is the world we live in now. It's a holiday weekend in the US and we've been seeing an increased military presence on the streets of NYC. Take care and enjoy the rest of your time in Paris.

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  4. Thanks Rowena, wishing you a safe and fun 4th July weekend!

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  5. You see how crazy is Paris! Hope you enjoyed!

    http://violettedaily.com

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  6. Oh mon dieu! Ca a dut être horrible! J'espère que ton bras va bien. Stay safe.

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  7. Oh dear! It is terrible every time i hear something on the news and i am running around to call friends and family.
    I am glad you are safe and I really pray we can all go back to days we weren't afraid to breathe.

    http://www.distinguisheddiva.com/2016/07/out-of-office-chasing-stars-and-oceans.html

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  8. Glad your safe! :)

    Stephanie | www.stephykeung.com

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  9. Wow that is so sad to hear Paris has changed so much. I have never been to Paris and it makes me sad to think it won't be the same.
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  10. I hope everyone is safe!!
    Love,
    Kisses and hugs from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  11. I saw in the news about the false alarm and I am very sorry that you were right there at this time! I'd have thought this is the end too... Luckily, it wasn't a danger, but living in fear is something awful!

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  12. How terrifying for you. What a sad world we now live in. I'm really happy it was a false alarm though.
    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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  13. You poor thing! I hate the way that the French let off firecrackers in the street, it always freaked me out even before the terrorist attacks

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  14. Oh my word, what you had to go through! I am sorry about that, your elbow and all the other injured people. And just to mention your last paragraph, I was in Paris in March and it wasn't like that, so maybe it's because of the Cup and also, because in the summer there are many more tourists in the city, so they are "on duty", patrolling all the places. But it's sad, such a lovely place now with this anxiety. I remember when people were praying and a candle glass broke - everybody started running in panic. It's really such a pity, once a place of love (still is), and now a firecracker causes all this panic. The city really changed. I hope you are well now, it has been an awful experience, sadly :(
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  15. oh gosh, glad to know you are alright.. it's sad to think that it has resorted to this in such a beautiful country/city as paris, france.

    Have a great week!

    Animated Confessions

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  16. Oh my goodness, this just shows how scared people are in the world today. People need to remember who God is.

    www.jeannechristinemarie.blogspot.com

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  17. Stephanie Williams7/05/2016 4:35 pm

    Oh goodness, what a horrible ordeal and we are all glad you are okay. It's so sad what's happening to the world, and hurts that attacks are becoming more frequent. Thankfully it was a false alarm.
    http://blog.sunmilouise.com/

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  18. I felt a lot through this post. As a french and as a parisian I saw Pars change after those horrible attacks that happens back in November. I heard what happens at the Champs de Mars and though there is way more military than usual in Paris because of the Euro, there is still more on a daily basis than it used to have in this city.

    I hope everything is gonna be better soon, in Paris, in the World.

    Great post really, really intense !

    Kenza from http://travelwithkenza.blogspot.fr/

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  19. Oh wow that would have been so horrifying. It's sad that in todays world, in Paris a single fire cracker triggers the worst fears in us all. A few years back that sound would have startled some but you wouldn't think anything of it. Now it's something so, so sinister. I don't know what I'd do in your situation, had I heard something like that. I'd probably just run and not look back. It's sad to see such a vibrant and culturally rich city brought down to such levels and to see military out on the streets so visibly. It really makes you think about how the locals are feeling each and every day

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  20. Yes, it's a sad situation and the absurd thing is that at some point it will become 'normal'. I really hope that it won't stay like this for ever.

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  21. Thanks Kenza. I just hope that Paris will at some point soon return to the way it used to be! But I understand that it cannot happen from one day to the next so we have to wait and pray for the best.

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  22. Yes, I think, as you say, it's due to the Cup, plus it was Gay Pride weekend, which given the recent events in Orlando could have required even tighter security all over the city... Thanks for having shared your thoughts.

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  23. Wow that is so scary. I'm happy to hear it was a false alarm. This is so sad..I haven't been to Paris for a few years now and can't imagine going back and seeing it like that with fear everywhere :(

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  24. martynaaleksandra7/15/2016 10:15 am

    I feel so bad that something like that happended to you! I remember you telling me about that Rio incident and now this. I'm just happy that you didn't get seriously injured and are fine now! I hope that was the last time you had to go through something like this! Sending you lots of love! x

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  25. Corie Bratter8/16/2016 12:54 pm

    I should have missed this post! It was really a bad experience. I always tend to stay calm, but I imagine this should have been ugly. Poor you.

    Corie

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  26. Rhondine Natalie9/10/2016 8:04 pm

    This video gave me chills. Idk what j would have done. I'm glad you were able to get out of that mess. It sucks that we live in a world like this. I live in Orlando, Fl and the Pulse shooting hit way too close to home. I pray and hope one day we can all live in peace and just love each other.
    Rhondine | www.nappsandsass.com

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