France Sunday Stills

Drunk With… The Emotion Of The Moment! France Wins The World Cup 2018!

Our sunset cruise on the River Seine in Paris was at the same time as the World Cup semi-final between Belgium and France.

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It was a perfect hour for a river cruise as we got to enjoy each phase of the sunset, the golden hour, the pink clouds… and as we passed restaurants along the river, we could see the large screen televisions and hear the people cheering on France. We heard France’s first goal from the boat and we felt the excitement of the people of Paris! Travel is at its best when you feel you are part of a place!

At the end of the cruise, the streets around the Eiffel Tower were wild with honking horns and people wearing the French flag as capes. Our metro ride back to the hotel was exciting and a little scary when the train stopped in the tunnel and the power went out. There was very little air and it was very hot!

It wasn’t all of Paris in euphoria. We had to transfer to another train and this one was very calm.

The Final Game: France vs. Croatia

We arrived in Montpellier and went to the beach late that afternoon and when the game begin, the restaurant on the boardwalk was absolutely full. We asked for a table for dinner to watch the game but they weren’t serving dinner. The cooks and waiters were watching the game too.

We drove back to the hotel, changed and ran into the plaza up the block where each restaurant had a crowd of people in front, cheering on France.

The streets were lined with police vans and riot police. My Insta-friend Emma (@blugalen) from Florence, Italy, started messaging me through Instagram, excited that I would experience the European soccer euphoria up close! My other Insta-friend Mai (@lotus_jazz) from Paris was messaging me the night before during the Bastille Day celebrations. I will never forget how they thought of me at these moments!

All of the tourists watched from a distance in the plaza, a little concerned about how people in the town would react.

We still hadn’t eaten but now it was impossible. The restaurants were completely full to capacity with people getting very drunk. We found a tiny supermarket which was also full of people buying wine and beer. The streets were a little frightening. The next morning, part of the hotel window was shattered.

It was fun to be part of the moment but I also loved this Croatian team. The following day, someone sent me a video about the Croatian players who were refugees. I love watching the exciting World Cup games but in sports, the human stories are always my favorite part.

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14 comments

  1. Definitely a memorable experience for you – Not sure I would have felt comfortable there, especially if the results went the other way… As you say with a lot of people, drink, emotions running high etc. The cruise sounds wonderful, would love to go on one myself! 🙂
    Caz x

    1. We went back to the hotel pretty fast and stayed there.

      The cruise only cost 13€ each and it was over an hour so it’s very affordable.

  2. Loved the videos! You could feel the raw energy/excitement of the people, even more so than the fans in the stadium during that very exciting game that I watched on TV.

    1. It was great timing to be there during those moments! I missed both games but I felt the excitement in the air. Thanks, Debbie!

    1. This world of Insta-friends and blogger friends is so interesting. I have two from very different countries who look like they’re a couple now.

      I regret not having met Mai. She’s coming to NYC but I may have moved by then…

  3. Wow, that must be a thrilling experience for you – scary and exciting at the same time! 😉

    I am totally with you with the “human stories” in sports more than the sport itself! 😉

    Excellent post Aixa!❤

    1. Yes, definitely the stories! I also like the last 15 minutes, when a team has no chance of winning, but plays as hard as at any point in the game! I don’t know how they maintain that level.

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