Friday, July 29, 2011

Beach days in Paris

I just returned from the beach in Paris.

Yes, you read that right.

But Paris is landlocked, non?

Oui.

So where is the beach?

In the middle of the city along the river.

But there is no sand along the river.

Right.

So where is the beach?!

Don't argue with me. This is my blog.

Explain.

Each summer, the city of Paris carts truckloads of beach sand and palm trees into the heart of Paris. They close the road that runs along the river and dump out the sand and trees to make a beach.

They make a beach?

They make a beach.  

They cart in a lot of sand. They arrange it beautifully as the French are wont to do. They add activity areas. They even add a library where you can check out a comic book and read it right there on the beach! 


According to About.com, the beach is the brainchild of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe who is "well-known for launching ambitious municipal events. Paris Plage, which was initially criticized by some as costly and frivolous, has become a permanent fixture in the Parisian summertime scene."

Ya, it's a permanent fixture in the summertime scene. Because it's awesome. It's a dozen truck loads of awesome good times is what it is. 

Adding the finishing touches onto a little sand castle I whipped up. (That's my noggin' in the bottom corner.)
What is in that crate?!?! Oh the French... they think of everything.
My favorite part was not the swimming pool they erected. Nor the tai chi area. Nor the yoga zone. No no no. My favorite part was seeing the Red Cross patrol the area on their bicycles. When they got a call, they raced their bikes down to the end of the beach, blowing their whistles all the way.

They looked like giant children. Very serious giant children.

And who were they saving? A kid who had fallen off his bicycle on the dirt bike track. They put a bandaid on his knee. Together.

How cute is that?

After erecting my giant sandcastle, I had an ice cream and caught a few rays.

Paris isn't Cannes. But it'll do.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the way the French "decision makers" ignore the small-minded, boring prudes of their population. Another striking case such as this one is the keeping of Le Tour Eiffel (or was that "La" Hmmm) which many called an eye-sore and wanted removed at the end of the 1889 World Fair, which it was built for as the (wait for it) entry gate! (French flamboyance is so much better directed than in the US.) It is now the most visited tourist attraction in the world I believe and worth millions (probably billions)of Euros to France. Can you imagine France without the Eiffel Tower? It's as much Paris as croissants or The Louvre. :D

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