A Question of Weather

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A Question of Weather
Readers constantly send emails asking about the weather and when they should travel to France. The answer is always.  While other cities may be less expensive to visit than Paris, for our money, this is a must-visit destination, be it your first time or your tenth! We always advocate travel in neighboring countries, as it broadens one’s education; but what a difference the weather makes. Bonjour Paris always warns people visiting Paris to never count on the weather. At the very least, it tends to be iffy and visitors may experience four seasons in one day. Paris winters can be blissful, albeit chilly. Summers may be blustering hot and make tourists want to hit any and all places that advertise air-conditioning. Then there’s the rain: April showers can and do happen each and every month of the year. Since the August 2003 heat wave—where scientists at Inserm (the National Institute of Health and Medical Research) determined that nearly 15,000 French people died—the French have become serious about la clime, and la clime education, should there be another such occurrence. Hospital staffs have been instructed to be on duty if rip-roaring high temperatures overtake France. Groups will be mobilized to distribute water and watch out for the elderly or people who are vulnerable to dehydration. Commercial establishments are ripping out their tiny over-worked units, and US style air-conditioning with ducting and vent blowing like all get-out are becoming an integral part of building specifications. Hotel owners recognize that if they want to attract an upscale clientele, they’d better offer air-conditioning for marketing and more reasons. In this sense, Paris is becoming more like the US, where you might freeze in a public place without a sweater. Thank goodness French thriftiness, coupled with the high cost of electricity, serves as a detriment to turning the AC on full-blast. Some people who have installed air-conditioning in their apartments for princely sums and are now wondering why. Not everyone has such a luxury or even the possibility since many apartments building boards would say absolutely no, because there’s nowhere to invisibly place the condensation units. Bets are on that this will change when there’s another heat wave from hell. Robert Muir-Wood, a consultant with Risk Management Solutions in London, states that many areas of the UK have suffered the worst floods since 1947. He affirms that weather patterns are changing with increasingly dramatic effects. Japan (and so many other countries) are prime examples. Why? Because of climate change or global warming. When the weather is nice, no matter which season, you’ll see bikers whooshing down the streets. Now that the sun is shining, people are in substantially better moods. But, wait a second, as I’m finishing this article and heading off to liberate a city bike, it’s started to rain!  No one in Paris is going to have to worry about watering balcony flower boxes. It’s a real downpore. But by the time I finish this article, the rain will have stopped and within a few minutes the sun will be shining. Then it’ll be first-come, first serve for people wanting to bike from here to there. There’s a Velib’ stand two minutes away from my apartment and it’s great to have access to such easy transportion .. if you have strong nerves. Just wish these very heavy bikes had better instructions and large rear view mirrors. Plus, this priority to the right can be challenging. Guess it’s less dangerous to sit in a cafe and watch the world go by. (c) Paris New Media, LLC [email protected] For your travel safety: Medjet Assist. As a member of MedjetAssist, if you become hospitalized as an inpatient more than 150 miles from home, you will be transported at your discretion to the hospital of your choice from virtually anywhere in the world – at no additional cost. If you’re coming to Paris and want to remove the stress out of any and all planning, dynamo Lisa Buros-Hutchins of www.YourParisExperience.com can arrange anything and everything, including planning your honeymoon and/or making dinner reservations. Nothing is beyond her. Say Bonjour Paris referred you and put her to the test of making your stay in Paris perfect.
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