Adventures in Paris: HEAT WAVE

We had a little heat wave in Paris last week.  It was quite chilly when we arrived two weeks ago, but by last Friday the temperature had climbed to 95° F.  It was hot.  Sticky, sweaty, stinky, hot.  We’re Texans, and quite used to temperatures above 95 degrees, but at home, we have air conditioning (in our cars, in our house, in every single building we enter…).  Here in Paris—no air conditioning.  The apartment we are renting does not have air conditioning.  The metro does not have air conditioning.  And very few buildings we enter have air conditioning.

Friday last week felt something like this:  Wake up sweaty and damp.  Take a shower to wash off the sweat and leave the house.  Immediately begin sweating again, and wonder why you bothered to shower.  Get on the metro, which is extremely warm, and find yourself squished into a train car with dozens of other sweaty, stinky people who do not wear deodorant.  Hike around Paris sight-seeing for several hours until you are completely dehydrated, the kids are exhausted, and your hair is plastered to your bright red face with sweat.  Get back on the metro to ride home and find yourself squished in between two extremely stinky men whose arms are raised to hold on…your nose happens to be the height of their armpits.  Finally arrive home to your apartment, which feels like an oven.  Open all the windows to let in more hot air and lots of flies.  Collapse on the bed and feel like you want to die.

Trocadero cool-down

Kids were even swimming in the Trocadero fountains across from the Eiffel Tower

There was no escaping the heat!  It was pretty miserable for about three days.  We bought a fan, which was a great 16€ investment.  Then on Sunday evening we got a spat of rain and the temperature cooled.  By Monday morning the weather was quite pleasant again.  We survived the little heat wave, but it was rough.  Paris doesn’t see high temperatures like that very often, but it certainly is miserable when it happens.  Our advice:  avoid coming to Paris in July and August (like we did) if you can.  The temperatures can get hot and the major sites are all clogged with tourists.

In a fit of desperation during last week’s heat wave, we planned a little getaway to Switzerland—way up in the mountains where it never gets hot.  More to come on that!


Photo credit: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

4 replies
  1. Carol
    Carol says:

    Yuck! It sounds hot!!! I rode in super hot and humid buses on my mission and they were miserable! Switzerland sounds like a lovely break. I’ve always been a fan of traveling in the Fall. It increases the chance for cooler weather.


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