Sunday, July 23, 2006

When it's Hot in Paris and Other Thoughts

When It's Hot

The last couple weeks have been warm for Paris, up into the mid 90s. It is very rare to have air conditioning in Paris so we have suffered a little. Well, one dresses for the heat and shutters the windows during the day and opens them in the evening and night. Everyone is eating salads along the sidewalk cafés and drinking chilled rosé wine.

This evening the weather is quite comfortable with a small breeze flowing through the ap
artment and the temperature being in the lower 70s. When it was warmer this afternoon I took a siesta and now I can enjoy staying up later this evening.

The Paris Plage

The Paris Plage (Paris Beach) opened Wednesday and everyone is taking advantage. Several tons of sand were brought in, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc. along the Seine and there is a vacation spirit. I will go down tomorrow and take a few photos.

The Tour de France (bicycle race) arrives in Paris tomorrow finishing along the Champs Elysées after having spent several previous weeks with stages in most parts of France. Now that Lance Armstrong has stopped participating, the field is open and it is amazing that an American again will probably win tomorrow.

All said, tomorrow will be charged, starting with housekeeping in the morning, Tour de France mid-afternoon and then Paris Plage in the late afternoon. Hopefully, I can do everything on the schedule.

The Coupe du monde

There is usually something in the papers each day about Zidane and the Coupe du Monde. He was fined last week and suspended for three games, even if he is retired. There is not much one can do about that unfortunate lack of judgment in the last minutes of the last game of Zidane’s career. Certainly everyone was buzzing about the game and it still comes up in conversation. Most people here think that even if he was insulted, the head butt wasn’t very sportive and uncalled for. The speech after the game of Jacques Chirac was empty when he praised Zidane for his contribution, for giving France hope and for his excellent sportsmanship… dohhh. Guess he had that written before the game.

Bordeaux and Region

The trip to Bordeaux was quite good the weekend of 14-Juillet. I took the train to Bordeaux and then by car to the Medoc and saw the famous wine chataux, most of which were closed for the holiday and the weekend....hmm. I did not realize that the Grand Chateaux require a reservation one month in advance (Lafite Rothschild, Chateaux Margaux, etc.) and the lesser known require one week’s reservation. Well, I did visit two lesser châteaux but I was not impressed with the wine I tasted. In the end, I did not buy any wine to lug back to Paris. I notice there are some of the same wines in my local supermarket for a few euros more than in Bordeaux. On the internet one can buy wine, the selection is greater but on has to pay for shipping. There is no free lunch but if the lunch includes a good wine, well… who cares ? The rest of the trip was to the west coast and beaches, then to the Saint Emillon region (more wine).

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