Why summer in Paris makes me fall in love with the city all over again
There’s something about summer in Paris that I love. The sunshine, the bright blue sky, that feeling of wanting to be outside all day, every day (not so great when you work in an office, but hey, the cat needs luxury cat food, so I’ve got to go out and earn a crust).
It’s in summertime when Paris changes the most. In August, many Parisians take a whole month off work and decamp to other parts of the country or abroad. You’ll never see the city so quiet away from the tourist hotspots. Of course, this also means that you can’t get anything done in August, either. You might find that your local bakery is closed, your bank manger has buggered off to Biarritz, or key transport lines are shut for engineering works, meaning that your daily commute in a sweltering hot metal bucket takes that much longer.
The whole pace of life seems to slow, and suddenly, you feel like doing nothing more taxing than relaxing in a park with a jambon-beurre sandwich and reading a good book. And where better to do so than in Paris? There are plenty of green spaces to choose from—be it Champs de Mars by the Eiffel Tower or the Jardin de Tuileries by the Louvre museum. There’s even a beach, if that’s your jam; the Paris Plage, where each year thousands of tonnes of sand are deposited along the banks of the River Seine and beach umbrellas and sun loungers suddenly spring up too.
You needn’t feel bad for not being as cultural as you should be. It’s such a lovely day, it would be a shame to waste it indoors in a museum. Although they do tend to be lovely and cool, and some have beautiful gardens so I’d recommend the Musée Rodin and the Palace of Versailles.
In the evenings, you’ll feel like being sociable well past your bedtime. Whether it’s drinking wine on the riverbank with a view of Notre Dame or sitting on a café terrace enjoying a coffee, it’s at moments like this that you realize how much the city has to offer.
Of course, some people will think I’m nuts. Many people, Parisians mostly, think that summer in the capital is awful. It’s hot, it’s sticky, everything is closed, there are too many tourists (the list of complaints is lengthy, given that moaning is said by some to be France’s national sport). But summer is my favorite season in Paris. The city sparkles under the sunshine, everyone seems in a good mood, and you can’t help but walk with a spring in your step, all the way to the Ile Saint Louis for a Bertillon ice cream cone.photo by Ashley Jarvis CC BY
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