Archive for the ‘eiffel’ Tag

Paris – a Prelude to a Tour   Leave a comment

Warning: there is not really any cycling content in this post but it is a necessary link in this series, where I am looking back to my first “tour de France”.

My earlier blog post On the Road to France covered the arrival of me and three friends in London, our cycle across southeastern England, followed by a hovercraft and train transportation to deliver us to Paris.  Before we would start our real cycling part of our tour we had three or four days to explore all of the sights of the French Capital.

The train from Calais delivered us to the Gare du Nord. Anytime I am separated from my bike on a tour I am a bit anxious (so much could go wrong). Therefore I was relieved when we got off the train found the baggage claim area and there were our bikes. I remember being struck, as we left the train station by sights and sounds and smells that all seemed so foreign. This was my first visit to Paris, in fact the first time I had been in a city of this size. Once we caught out breathes it was time to take care of business – the business of finding a place to stay. We loaded up our bikes and walked them down the Boulevard de Magenta, asked at a couple of small hotels and found one that could take us.

The next three days were pretty typical first-time-tourist-in-Paris days: lots of walking, seeing all of the must-see landmarks, language challenges, getting around on the Metro, sitting at cafes and having the world’s best croissants for breakfast (no matter which boulangerie they came from). Oh, and taking lots of photos! So I’ll let a few photos tell the story of our days in Paris.

Bridges over the Seine, from Notre Dame

Big Petanque Game in the Tuilleries

That Tower-thingy

My cycling buddies - also avid (read crazy) photographers

Bringing Home Baguettes

a Parisian Market

Beside the Seine

a Paris Night

The only downside to our days in Paris was when Frank left his camera at the restaurant where we had dinner one day – by the time we realized it was gone and got back, the camera was gone (or so they said). Our Paris adventure ended early (7-ish?) on a Sunday morning, when we loaded up our bikes and rode through the quiet and sometimes cobbled streets of the city – on to Chartres.