August is the month when Parisians leave home in their millions to take their traditional holiday in the country, by the seaside or abroad.
August is the month when Parisians leave home in their millions to take their traditional holiday in the country, by the seaside or abroad. With shops closed and shuttered, large areas of the city are completely deserted.
But Paris, even without several million of its inhabitants, is still a magnet for the tourists, who swarm around the famous sights in the sweltering heat. Even in August, when Parisians prefer to be somewhere else, Paris is still a beautiful city.
Not all Parisians go away in August, however. Ticket-sellers, guides and hoteliers stay at their posts to cater for the needs of the tourists.
And August is the month when the roadworkers of Paris indulge in an orgy of excavation. Taking advantage of the reduction in regular traffic caused by the holiday -- and ignoring the tourist's coaches -- the workmen dig huge holes in search of sewers, gas and electricity mains, even the underground railway.
The newspapers print detailed maps of the roadworks for those forced to spend August in Paris. For those on holiday there is at least a sporting chance that most of the holes will have been filled in before they get back.