Tourists caught in Yellow Vests protests
Yellow Vests movement causes the whole spectrum of reactions from the tourists: it fascinates, and even enchants some of them, coming as usual from all over the world to admire French capital, it scares the other, making them flee. Although an element of fear is strongly present, it is also a keen interest in life of contemporary France winning over the other considerations. For many visitors France lives up to its glorious past, reminiscent of great slogans of 1789 Revolution “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” – Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood. For majority of foreigners the Yellow Vests (#GiletsJaunes) are emblematic of French national traditions of centuries long struggle for ideals of harmonious inclusive society.
However the consular services of many countries are less enthusiastic about Yellow Vests, and are definitely not in the mood to romanticise their movement. They issued the warnings to their nationals to avoid crowds, and follow police alerts, while perambulating in popular touristic sites.
The demonstrations are taking place on Saturdays, allowing life to flow uninterrupted during the week; however it is clear that in Paris there is no “business as usual“, and there is a lot of electricity in the air. They talk about ‘divorce‘ between President Macron, and French people.
However on December 10th, 2018 – The US State Department updated a Level 2 Travel Advisory: ‘Exercise Increased Caution’, due to terrorism for Paris, France, on December 6, 2018.
Additionally, the US Embassy in Paris, France issued an Alert regarding the “Gilets Jaunes” demonstrations, which said ‘these events may continue through the coming weeks.’
Some resort to irony in attempt to come on terms with the extraordinary experience: “I took typical tourist photos during my fist visit to Paris” writes Lonut Lordachescu in his Twitter micro blog. The others move on and make the best out of the booked travel: “Lovely out day” tweets a tourist depicted in a selfie with the Eiffel Tour.
The ‘big spenders’ lament the missing chance of a good shopping spree in Paris on Xmas, but life is not about shopping only, is it?..