This post is part of the Paris in July blogging event. I’m delighted to be co-hosting this year! Please check out the blogs of Karen at “A Wondering Life” and Tamara at “Thyme for Tea,” creators of the event, for links to all participating posts.
The last day of July and the scent of vacation is in the air for many Parisians. With a minimum of 25 vacation days a year, Parisians traditionally take at least two weeks off in the summer – and the most popular time is August.
The shops and restaurants surrounding tourist attractions are usually open in August but if you go into a neighborhood just off the tourism route, you will get a feel for the real Paris in August: quiet, calm, sleepy.
In our neighborhood, our usual bakeries, cheese shops, and other artisans close during the same period, leaving us with the grocery store and one bakery. There is always one baker among the five or six in each neighborhood who will remain open so we don’t have to resort to industrial bread. (Whew!)
If I want to have lunch or dinner at a small café or restaurant, I think to myself: “It’s that time of year… I’d better call to make sure it’s open.” And it usually isn’t.
All of this until the August 15 Assumption holiday. Then, slowly but surely, shutters lift, hurried footsteps echo in the streets, the sounds of laughter and the scent of cigarettes permeate the air. And Paris awakens.
I hope you have enjoyed this year’s Paris in July. I certainly have! A big “merci!” to Tamara and Karen for asking me to co-host this year.
July is one of my favorite months in Paris, but if you love Paris as much as I do, don’t hesitate to visit during any month. Paris is a place for all seasons.
Fellow Paris-based author Vicki Lesage is teaming up with me on a few “Paris in July” posts. We each will be writing our own take on a particular Paris-related theme. Here is Vicki’s wrap-up post for the last day in July…
Paris in August is a unique phenomenon. It's both empty and crowded. Loud and quiet. Parisian and not Parisian. It passes slowly but is over with before you know it, and then it's back to the hustle and bustle of work. You have to enjoy it while it lasts... Click here to read more…