Thursday, August 21, 2014

The beaches of Paris! Paris Plages!


In August the language you hear in Paris is...well...anything but French! August for the French = vacation time and the city empties as Parisians are on a plane, train or automobile leaving the city (including myself as I am writing this from abroad). However some Parisians enjoy this part of the year as the city is empty. And for those who can't get to the beach over the summer, Paris brings the beach to them!

 

Since 2007, starting from around the 20th of July and lasting for just over a month, the cityscape literally transforms. The Seine riverside thoroughfares become a car-free beach resorts! The Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) operation is a concept conceived and carried out by the office of the Mayor in Paris. A Seine-side holiday -- complete with sandy beaches, deckchairs, ubiquitous ice cream sellers, and concerts for French and foreign guests. Holiday makers at the Bassin de la Villette (Paris 19) can also borrow books free of charge, play beach volley, take an aqua-gym class in a mini pool, or kayak around the lake – or, of course just chill and enjoy. 




The Seine’s banks become pedestrian and the beaches are spread across three spots (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette). And I have to give it to them, the operation is completely streamlined and organized. Along the beach are also clean functioning restrooms, a first aid office and a police station!


Paris Plage is a great opportunity to catch some rays or build a sandcastle. It also makes for a great place to meet friends! Food and alcohol are allowed on the beach so you can find many people enjoying the beach with a glass of something in their hand. There are also several beach snack shacks, which serve up ice cream, beer and sandwiches!  


The Musee du Louvre is also taking part with Le Louvre à la plage. Visitors can participate in many free activities on the theme of swimming, from reproductions of Venus, Diana and other Naïades found in the collections of the museum. Afternoons tend to focus on families who can discover masterpieces of the Louvre, guided by mediators of the museum, or simply enjoy a moment of relaxation in the reading corner flipping through comic books, guides and catalogs exposure.


All Paris Plages beaches are open non-stop from 9.00 am to midnight.


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