It was 2007 when the rugby world cup took place in Paris. The ordinary september- Paris, known for milder temperatures than in summer, colourful leaves and neverending sunsets had turned into a replica of Scotland in it`s finest days.
The city of “amour” was filled with men (and the ocasional butch woman) who had arrived by Eurostar, plane or other means of trasnportation to Paris, to show their support for their favourite rugby team, all competing there.
The atmosphere was what journalists call newsworthy. Most (probably a few thousands) men were in kilts, carring the Scottish flag and other things to show why they were there. From funny hats or bagpipes to rubber toys. Busses full of them were all around the town, you could hear them from kilometers away. One who has not seen something like that can only imagine what a crowd of big, loud men carrying bagpipes must look and sound like. Their faces and sometimes their bodies (the chest, the abs or neck) were painted but you could tell who theyr were, just hearing their accents.
Bought from rugby town: my official replica ball. On the other side it says “Rugby World Cup 2007, France 2007
Anyhow, rugby town (a special arranged place, but not the meeting point of fans) was selling t-shirts, flags or balls, but the most popular thing was the good- old beer. This amazing boom of conspumtion made the Paris parks turn to public toilets.
Paris`s main attraction became the meeting point of the fans before leaving to the games, on the stadium. Thousends of men in kilts used to gather under the Eiffel tower to make sure they were warmed- up for the game.
Conincidence or not, on one of those days, the Parisians who had their origins in the region of Bretagne, organized a series of events (which I also attended), one of them being a huge celtic parade on the Champs Elysees. Under the title of “Breizh Touch”, thousends of people gathered to see the parade on the most expensive street in the world, similar to 5th Av in New York city. Is was a parade of music and dances created by people living in the region of Bretagne, but also Scotland, Ireland or Wales. With 3000 dancers and singers, most of them wearing national costumes and playing their traditional intruments, the event took the breath of the people who witnessed it.
The people, the exhibitions, the huge screens and the feeling of being there made this city proove once again why it is worth being the most visited destination on Earth in our modern times.