Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambian citizens flee ahead of Barrow inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump will still tweet from personal Twitter account as President

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Population studies: France's 'ethnicity' taboo

Read more

THE DEBATE

Brexit's Biggest Fan: Trump weighs in ahead of Theresa May speech (Part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Brexit's Biggest Fan: Trump weighs in ahead of Theresa May speech (Part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Posy Simmonds: 'French women have good handbags, English women have udders'

Read more

FOCUS

Security stepped up in Italy amid terror threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Music producer Uppermost: From the courthouse to the club

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Bulgarian president-elect hopes for lifting of Russia sanctions

Read more

France

Paris builds its summer beaches and prays for sun

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-07-19

Despite the persistent rain and unseasonably cold weather, Paris is optimistically constructing an artificial beach along the north bank of the River Seine.

Every summer, the French down their tools and head for the beach.

And each year for the past decade, Paris has built its own sandy shore for those left behind in the sweltering capital.

This summer, the city’s beach – “Paris Plages” - is taking shape along one kilometre of the north bank of the Seine. Additional Paris Plage activities, including kayaking and paddleboats, will be on offer at the Bassin de la Villette waterway in the north of the city.

With a few days to go before the July 21 opening, work on Paris Plages is coming along quickly – albeit under slate-grey skies and drizzly rain (the best weather for building sandcastles, as any Briton will confirm).

But in a spirit of sunny optimism, the city is thinking big. This year they are using 6,000 tones of sand – ten times more than in previous years – to create the illusion of a beach on a stretch of dual carriageway between the Tuilleries gardens by the Louvre to the mayor’s office a kilometre to the east.

The sand has been lugged up the Seine in a 180-metre convoy of barges all the way from Bernieres on France’s Channel coast.

Activities for youngsters

“We wanted to build a real beach this year,” said project designer Jean-Cristophe Choblet. “Somewhere everyone can come to find some sand to sit on.

“But especially for the children – and there are many children who stay in Paris over the summer, we have designed Paris Plages around activities for youngsters,” he said.

On offer are sports, cultural activities, swimming and paddleboats, petanque (boules), bars and ice cream stands – and many of these activities are free.

At the Bassin de la Villette, there will even be a wave machine to make things more fun.

Over the coming days the beach will be complimented by some 1,460 items of beach furniture, including 200 recliners, 280 parasols and scores of potted palm trees.

This year, city authorities are expecting some five million Parisians and visitors to join the fun.

All that’s needed now is a break in the weather.
 

Date created : 2011-07-19

COMMENT(S)