Paris ‘beaches’ offers escape from summer heat

Paris, Jul 17 (EFE).- Parisians have resorted to the ‘beaches’ of the French capital to escape soaring temperatures brought on by a heat wave, which could see the mercury surpass 40C (104F) this week.

The annual Paris Plages event, held on the Bassin de la Villette canal, among others, offers different leisure activities, including fishing, boat rides, canoeing, climbing and tai chi or yoga courses.

“I often come here. It’s cool to see that there are places to be and also activities,” one of the visitors tells Efe. “We are going to try to get on the sun loungers and enjoy all of this a little.”

She and her friend have decided to take a stroll and sit in the shade, with a privileged view that favors relaxation and enjoying the good weather, in an area that is especially popular with young people.

However, some residents of the popular neighborhood in which the canal is located do not seem to be as happy with the Paris Plages initiative, launched two decades ago, especially as the activities vary from one spot to another.

Nathalie, a resident of the 19th arrondissement, says that, due to the organization of Parisian beaches, “there is more noise, dirt, and this year fewer activities for children: this is the Paris Plages of the poor.”

For Julie, another resident around the canal, Paris Plages is a good initiative: “I think it’s great, especially for children” although she says that she is not interested in water activities.

On the banks of the Seine, in the heart of Paris, visitors can enjoy live music, food and festivities, as well as a place to walk and enjoy the most monumental setting in the city.

For many Parisians, the initiative offers a respite in a particularly hot summer like this one, in which the city is already experiencing its second heat wave.

These ‘beaches’ will be open until August 21. EFE


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