Summer really is here; from a faint hearted spring Mother Nature is turning on full glorious sunshine – it’s HOT. Summer and sun mean school holidays, and that means even more tourists flock in to Paris while her own citizens depart for the seaside or the countryside.
We’ve welcomed half of our tourist family and spent the weekend in tourist mode once the immediate suffering of long-haul flight sleep deprivation had been repaired. The three of us sauntered along to Cafe Chope, one of our local cafes at St Ouen just by the Guy Moquet Metro stop for a leisurely lunch of typical cafe fare. It’s not so busy now that many locals are away and this area is not on the main tourist itinerary so it’s perfect for imbibing genuine atmosphere with your beer.
With the mercury hitting 290 C it was definitely strolling pace as we walked gradually uphill along Rue Lamarck to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, stopping en route to watch the boules players on the shady terraces below the back of the cathedral just before we climbed the last set of steps.
Even though it is a tourist hot spot, Place du Tertre with its resident artists, its cafes and boutiques is quite picturesque still. Better still, you don’t have to wander too far away from here to lose the crowds and find small pretty streets, gardens and cafes. We ambled on downhill to Montmartre village, joining a small crowd listening to someone giving an impromptu recital at the Play Me – I’m Free painted street pianos by the carousel and then window shopping as we made our way along Rue des Abbesses. A perfect sunny Sunday and we’re looking forward to more of the same over the summer.