We’re back in sleepy, quiet Paris after a whirlwind stateside summer. It’s been about a thousand years since I’d been in Paris in August and I’d forgotten just how empty it can get. The place has rolled down the shutters and put out the gone fishing signs. The single digit arrondisements (along the Seine) are still full of flocks of tourists, but out here in the neighborhoods, it’s crickets. You barely have to look both ways to cross the street. 2 out of 3 shops are closed. All 3 of our fromageries to boot! It’s a sad howdy’a do to come back home and have to buy grocery store cheese, but we’ll manage.
We arrived 2 weeks ago and in a jet lag haze packed fresh bags and headed to one of our
favorite spots, Belle Île en mer to visit our friend Michel. Michel does open-air theater in the summer, and we’d long wanted to see his performances. He’d told us many times how different Belle Île is at the height of tourist season, but wow, was it ever. Now I know where all of Paris goes in August. There are 5000 year round residents on the island, in summer the population goes to 30,000. It was nonetheless a great time, and we’re glad we got to see 3 of his shows. Michel does one performance about the ocean in the ocean, with his audience seaside on the cliffs. It’s a natural amphitheater, so you can hear him without any problem. He arrives on the “stage” by swimming in from around the jetty, and I have to say it was pretty spectacular, even if the photos just look like some guy swimming.
Michel’s house is on the right. The tiny guest house used to be the stable. At least, we used to think it was tiny. Now we find it absolutely palatial! Oh how things change…
Michel’s garden is full of hidey sitting spots, but this one is Mark’s fave.
*Never again in summer! It was our Belle Île mantra.