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Travel


For the sun... In 2002, the Mayor of Paris decided that everyone was entitled to a beach holiday, even if they couldn’t leave Paris. Vast quantities of sand were trucked in and Paris Plage has now become a popular permanent fixture on the Parisian calendar. From mid-July to mid-August, large stretches of the Right Bank are given over to separate beaches, each with their own theme, activities and places to eat. Louvre/Pont de Sully is about 3km long and has its own swimming pool, rock climbing, rollerblading and free concerts. Pont de la Gare has free newspapers and books to read while lounging, as well as Wi-Fi in the on-site cafe. The most recently opened ‘beach’ at Bassin de la Villette is dedicated to free water sports, such as kayaking, pedaloes and rowing boats. Unfortunately topless sunbathing and swimming in the Seine are not permitted. www.paris.fr


For Bastille Day... On 14 July, Bastille Day commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, and is France’s most important national holiday. This huge celebration of the end of the French revolution begins on the Champs Elysées with a huge military parade led by the President with jets flying in formation overhead. The march moves from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde with the fire brigade bringing up the rear. Bastille Square is popular for dancing in the evening, and there’s a big outdoor Gay Ball.


For music… Launched in 1982 by the French Ministry for Culture, the Fête de la Musique takes place on the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. Five basic tenets are enshrined; it is free to everyone, takes place on 21 June, aims to enhance musical diversity, is open to professionals and amateurs, and, when possible, takes place outdoors. The city’s huge variety of venues provides an excellent opportunity to sample a range of styles, from classical to reggae, whether in the open-air, bars, restaurants, cafes or even some Metro stations. The less well known Paris Jazz Festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday in June and July from 3pm in the Parc Floral, Bois de Vincennes. www.fetedelamusique.culture.fr, www.parcfloraldeparis.com


50 businesslife.je June/July 2010


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