Bonne année and happy new year! And just like that it is 2023! No, I was not one of the estimated 1 million people on the Champs Elysées on New Year’s eve, I watched it on TV with family, like all the other practical/lazy folks out there wondering if there could possibly be enough porta-potties for everyone. (The actual fireworks show was only 8 minutes long, so we are all smugly proud of our decision to avoid the ruckus.)
But anyway that is all behind us now. Since my last newsletter, France played in and lost the World cup to Argentina, which meant the only thing to do over the Christmas holidays was drink more vin chaud and contemplate the fact that French star player Kylian Mbappé will still only 27 at the next World cup in 2026. It will be hosted in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, so get your tickets now…?
And speaking of tickets, the 2024 Olympics are coming! Yes, 2024 may be a bit far away, but surely you know that you are free and can attend the 2nd table-tennis heats on Sunday July 28th, 2024, between 3-5pm at the South Paris Arena 4, right!?
I say this because in a rather baffling move, the Paris Olympic committee is opening up ticket sales for these events, with the expectation that they are going to be snapped up. They expect so much demand that there will be a draw to assign tickets, and the tickets themselves will be sold in packs of 3 events rather than individually.
Which all sounds well and good for the prime-time events like the Olympic swimming finals. But everywhere else I suspect we’re going to see a lot of empty stands and/or a repeat of the Champions League fiasco in Paris earlier this year as people try to offload and exchange tickets. Although, I’ve never organized an Olympics, maybe this is normal?
And speaking of sports, the next big sporting event in France is next week with the French winter sales!
If you’ve not heard of les soldes d’hiver, it is one of two annual legally-allowed sales events that are held every January and July. Malls and shops across France try to put their dubious leftover stock on sale and hope that some starry-eyed hopeful takes it off their hands.
Sales start 8am sharp on Wednesday Jan 11th and lasts for a full 6 weeks. Because what else is there to do in the middle of January after all? With a slice of galette de roi for Epiphany for sustenance, of course, never mind those new year’s resolutions!
In other news:
- President Macron gave a long year-end speech, that even I could not be bothered to muddle through. Something about retirement, working longer, and unity.
- Visitors from China to France have to provide a negative covid test before departure.
And new in the blog:
120 French Travel phrases for every occasion
The list of the most useful French travel phrases, for any occasion. From directions to dining, taxis, emergencies, and much more, along with printable pdf.
18 Best beach towns and coastal cities in France
Get to know the most famous beach towns and coastal cities in France, from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, along the French Riviera.
Instant Pot Coq au vin without wine
The classic Coq au vin recipe, made in the Instant Pot without wine and alcohol. With accompaniment suggestions, tips, and more.
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