June brought a heat wave to Paris with temperatures up to 34 degrees. I didn’t deal well with the heat wave, as the air condition at work only worked every other day. And even with the air con on it was way too hot with all the computers running and all the people heating up the space.
We also had visitors in June – my mum and my sister came for a week with my little nephew. They were dealing much better with the heat andwent out and about sightseeing while I complained about the heat at work. At the airport in Vienna my sister noticed that one of the pairs of shoes she had packed for my little nephew was actually missing its second part. So she took the shoe with her on her sightseeing tour. That way, at least it didn’t travel in vain.
We went for picnics in the park and on our living room floor and had apero on a very fancy hotel boat with inflatable swans in the infinity pool. We also tried Ground control once, but with it being extremely hot and sunny we didn’t stand a chance and couldn’t find a table. Instead we had dinner at a café/brasserie right across. I thought that Gergö had tried it out before and liked it. Turns out that was a misunderstanding on my part. I quite enjoyed it, but my mum was convinced it was a Hell’s Angels bar and we’ll be mowed down by a rival gang. And I think she was only half joking.
On the weekend we visited the Musée de Quai Branly. It was the first day in about a week I felt a little chilly. It was great. The museum was air conditioned and despite it being a Saturday in summer we didn’t have to wait – I’m writing this down for the next heat wave. There was also art and stuff inside. Excellent museum really, especially the air condition part.
We also got a day pass for the batobus – a hop-on/hop-off boat tour along the Seine. The price it reduced for people who have a pass navigo and it’s quite handy: The last/first stop is about a 20 minute walk from our apartment and goes all the way to the Eiffel Tower.
On Sunday we went to Versailles. I thought the gardens are always free to visit. But apparently in summer they put up fences and extra security and ask for a 9 € entrance fee. It’s sold as an experience of water and music, because they turn on the fountains and have a 10 minute loop of classical music playing. It wasn’t that bad – I only sound so annoyed because in order to get in you have to queue in the scorching heat and direct sun and every single tourist in front of me tried to argue about ticket prices / children’s ages with the person at the till who, this being France, only spoke English to the extent that they had about 5 phrases they repeated.
The gardens are beautiful and big enough that the huge number of tourists don’t get too annoying (unless you want to buy a drink or need the loo).
The weird thing about Versailles and Paris (and probably about most places like it) is, that as soon as you step about 20 metres away from the main tourist drag, it’s quite different. We had excellent, reasonably priced crêpes not 5 minutes from the château. It just happened to be 5 minutes in the other direction – not on the way to the train station.
Now the heat is gone and I enjoy it so much. I even put on closed shoes without complaining too much about the foot prison. I’m wearing socks as we speak – in July! And I love it. At least you stand a chance of finding a table on a terrace somewhere for the apero.