Tuesday was a fun-filled day for our choristers to explore more of Paris, while also experiencing their second performance of the tour.
Places ventured included Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and popular museums, Musee d’Orsay and Musee de l’Orangerie, all the while enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Some chose to visit the intriguing Les Catacombes of Paris, noting it was worth the three hour wait to enter the historic site, to explore the former quarries now housing almost six million Parisians.
APs Brian and Justine ventured to Montmarte to check out the fabulous view from the spectacular Sacré-Cœur Basilica. They climbed the dome of the cathedral, over 3,000 steps, for the best view in Paris. They then explored the art market and the Salvador Dali Museum.
The choir regrouped in the afternoon for the tour’s second performance, this time at the Rekindling of the Flame Ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
Chorister, Rachel Rollo did an amazing job as the choir’s official interpreter, trying to decipher what was expected, as the choir lined up to march along the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, including venturing across the world’s busiest round-a-bout, with police stopping the traffic to allow the group to pass.
Choristers Phillip Suschinsky and Georgia Davey were honoured to lead the choir as they marched with local school students, veteran French soldiers and dignitaries, before delivering the Voices of Birralee wreath to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Once the group had arrived to the Arc de Triomphe, they readied themselves to perform at the daily 6.30pm service.
“It was a moving service as we acknowledged the sacrifice of many soldiers who have lost their lives in war, but in particular the sacrifice of the unknown French soldier who gave his life in WW1,” chorister Georgia said.
Our APs are also relishing the special moments as much as our choristers, with one AP, Dominik grateful to march with the group, noting it as “a very moving moment to begin the next phase of our journey.”
Once the service began, our choir sang the French National Anthem to the local French audience (and tourists) along with the beautifully moving Sing Me to Heaven.
A special thank you to Eric Brisse for setting up the opportunity for our choristers to perform at the Arc de Triomphe – it was such an incredible experience and a wonderful way to spend their final day in Paris.
After the ceremony choristers went various ways for dinner, yet most found themselves together again on the slopes of the Trocadero, watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle in the evening’s light show.
Today (Wednesday) our choristers are on their way from Paris to Amiens to be further immersed in First World War history. They are looking forward to performing tonight in a special concert for the Allonville community.
We can’t wait to share their experience!
In the meantime, we invite you to follow our tours via our Friends of Birralee’s Anzac Centenary Tours Facebook page, and make sure you subscribe to this blog by hovering your cursor over the bottom right hand side of the page.
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