PARIS -- They frolicked in fountains, jumped in lakes and canals, waded in the sea. And no wonder. It was, after all, one of Europe's hottest-ever days.
As the temperature climbed and climbed to record highs in multiple countries Thursday, people converged on any body of water they could find.
In Paris, the fountains beneath Trocadero plaza across from the Eiffel Tower became the city's new nucleus.
Local families, vacationing college students, tourists form Brazil, the Netherlands, Chicago and beyond — they all had the same idea.
Some just shed their shoes; others stripped down to their underwear. With temperatures reaching 42.6 degrees Celsius (108.7 degrees Fahrenheit), modesty was the least of anyone's concerns.
Crowds packed the beaches of Belgium, swimming, lounging in the waves, or riding horses through the shallow waters along the shore at De Haan. The country hit its all-time temperature high of 40.7 C (105.3 F).
Barcelona's beaches drew crowds of their own, performing acrobatic dives or just seeking relief in the seaside breeze.
Outdoor pools swarmed with swimmers in England, which saw temperatures reach 38.1 C (100.6 F).
And why not?