Does Anyone Want a Free Massage?
I've said it before and I'll say it again - being a tourist in Paris is hard work. My husband and I took some antique books to a bookbinder in Montmarte this morning, ate a quick lunch at Paris Bohéme, and then rushed over to the Sorbonne for a tour at 2:30 p.m. By the time that the tour was over, I was ready to sit down and relax for a little while. So, imagine my delight when I saw the sign for free massages at the Place de la Sorbonne. I had heard about the free ten minute massages but didn't know the address, so it seemed quite serendipitous to stumble across them today.
Don't worry that you need to speak French to enjoy a massage. You don't. Just stand next to the sign and wait until one of the masseuses motions you to sit down. Don't do like I did and be in such a hurry to sit down that you miss the stool completely and end up on the ground. It was a bit embarrassing and not the best way to relax! Once you're comfortably seated, the next ten minutes fly by as the masseuse kneads away the tension in your neck, back, legs, and forehead. At the end of the massage, you're asked to make a donation, which I was happy to do. I gave the masseuse about 5 Euros but judging from the denominations of the small number of coins in the tip box, it seems as if people were leaving much less.
I didn't want to waste my 10 minutes asking my masseuse lots questions, but she did tell me that they are at the Place de la Sorbonne from about 4 p.m. every day, weather permitting, with the exception of Sundays. The organization that sponsors the massages is "La Décontraction a la Française" or "Relaxing French Style".
So, relax and enjoy! I promise that I won't be taking any more photos of people getting free massages in Paris.
Update: You can also have a free massage at the Paris Plages (Paris Beach) along the Seine until August 21, 2011.