Paris on a Saturday morning. I am walking down Blvd, St-Germain. I feel strangely and completely out of sorts. This normally bustling boulevard is almost empty, devoid of cars and pedestrians. It's 11 am. Where is everyone?
I walk past deserted cafes. I take photos in the street. No one honks or tries to hit me. Grocery shopping is easy, the line at our local grocery store is 2 persons deep instead of 10. What is going on?
It is August and Paris is on vacation. Parisians have deserted the city in droves for vacation homes, beaches and country life.
Make no mistake, this is a wonderful time of year to be here. But there are some tradeoffs. A lot of the stores and restaurants you want to visit are closed.
Those signs seemed to be everywhere. Almost all hand written posted in the windows of the restaurants and smaller individually owned stores we frequent. 'We are closed for our annual vacation from August 1 to 27'.
It's a great time be there.
Less traffic on the streets.
Less struggle to get around.
It is a time to see a different side of the city. A time to walk further and longer and enjoy the now quiet streets. A time to reflect and to enjoy summer. A time to slow down, something unusual in this normally bustling metropolis.
It's Paris in August, a city like no other at a time like no other. Go slowly and enjoy it.