Not to be outdone, the protesters (not pictured here, but you can watch a video at http://www.zie.nl/video/fa4zvgtfhazp) had their own funny hats and songs (their favorite seemed to be "L'Internationale"). At least one protester decided to lie down in front of the parade, but he was quickly carried away by the police. Although the protesters were relatively ineffective at blocking the parade, the swarms of newsmedia trying to get video of the confrontation, as well as the gawkers and platoons of police watching the protesters, managed to effectively block the parade route, which caused a large part of the parade to be diverted away from us, Eventually, a line of paddy wagons arrived and parked across the street from the protesters. That seemed to quiet things down.
|Pompiers (firemen) retuning their shiny hats|
Unfortunately, after the parade, it seems that everybody except the protesters had to return their swords and funny hats. We didn't have any funny hats to return so we treated ourselves to lunch at a small (5 tables), very French, cafe near our apartment. We had a very relaxed lunch on the sidewalk with great food at a reasonable price.
Tonight we head to the Champs de Mars to watch the fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.