'Nuit Blanche' is an annual event in Paris, whereby (so rumour would have it) everything stays open all night for revelry and awe. Imagine touring the Louvre at 2am, followed by a quiet 4am brunch in a streetside cafe watching the crowds walk past, and the carnival-like atmosphere.
It would be great - if it were true!
Last year's was a shambles. The authorities didn't (wouldn't) release guides until the night itself (and then didn't explain how to get them) and most Parisians had no idea what was open, or where.
We joined the crowds milling outside the Louvre (closed), tried the Musee d'Orsay (closed) and settled for a Bateau Mouche - which turned out to provide the long awaited guidebook once you'd bought your ticket.
The boat trip itself was pleasant, during which we could read the guide - to discover few places indeed were open at all, and the promised 'all night opening' of the Metro only applied to certain lines in certain directions.
The only bar we could find open and not crammed with similarly baffled tourists was Australian (not very Parisian). When we finally gave up, we joined the thousands of others equally trying to desperately get a taxi home in the sub-zero temperatures, and ended up huddled in a Metro entrance (closed) for warmth until the hordes had thinned enough for us to try and get back.
It can't be blamed on our being tourists - as we have French friends who live in Paris and who we'd joined to spend the 'event' with!
Hopefully this year's will be better, but I'd definitely check every detail out in advance, just in case!
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