Late summer in Paris. The tourist season should reach the peak of activity but something is not as it should be. Passing the most frequented paths I don’t see crowds which were there at that time a few years before.
One family from California which I showed the city a couple of days ago gave me the answer to the question, What’s happening ?
I was a bit surprised by their febrile questions in the e-mails we exchanged before they arrived in Paris. They asked if they will be safe. Totally safe they spent one week enjoying good French food and sights of Paris. Just before leaving they told me Paris they saw with me is quite different from what they see on the news. Paris is doing well!
The river Seine is not rising up to the front doors of the Louvre. We were there and we had a ball walking the halls and seeing the famous paintings. Yes, Paris had the most rain in 100 years this year. But you might want to bring an umbrella, no?
Sure, there is extra security around to remind us that there are bad people in the world. But at least they’re looking out for us. They will ask to check your bag and maybe run a wand over your body. It might have you standing in line longer, but you’ll get to your destination.
And the strikes. Let’s talk about that. It’s a national past time in France. If France didn’t have strikes, I’d think something was wrong with the French. Is the timing bad? Of course it is. But you are still going to be able to use public transportation and take the TGV to Nice and other parts of the country. In addition, you have a chance to see unusual events like on the picture below. (This was a strike of French women against violence)
So things might be running a little slower, but they’re running. The French are not masters in a hurry anyway.
So come to Paris. There is still a lot good cheese, good wine and Mona Lisa still smiles mysteriously.