Last weekend of August, last weekend of hot weather, last weekend of freedom for most people… in pure French fashion, we decided to run away from responsibilities. At 8 p.m., we walked down the Cours des Cinquante Otages to check out The Rendez-vous de l’Erdre, a large annual jazz festival that takes place on the banks of the Erdre river.
I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t even know if the festival was free. It was, which is always a nice surprise. Despite the impressive police presence (about ten small vans stationed at the entrance), we got in easily. Past the security checkpoint, the crowd was friendly and relaxed, another good surprise considering the recent terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere. I’m glad to see that French aren’t over-paranoid and still enjoy outdoor gatherings.
“I’m not queuing for food”, Feng announced as we walked by the many food stalls with impressive lineups of people waiting for creole cod beignets, crêpes, Indian samosas, oven-baked bread or oysters. French take food seriously and it smelled delicious, much better than the usual street food fare.
“Oh wait… I want churros.”
So Feng doesn’t queue for anything BUT churros. I found the oven-baked bread tempting, but the lineup was huge and dinner was ready at home so we skipped it.
We kept on walking along the river, where various concerts were staged on a string of barges. All kinds of jazz music were represented: traditional, electro-jazz, blues, modern jazz, etc. I don’t know much about jazz music but I do find it interesting and the scenery was very nice—a cool sunset, old boats, the river…
Suddenly, the weather got cooler and we all realized how late it was and how tired we were.
Time to head home. Still, it was a nice way to say goodbye to the carefree summer atmosphere.