Monuments Run: Paris, France
One Day. We had 1 day in Paris, so obviously we chose to make this a Run Day. Truth be told, it was more of a Walk Day but what started out as an early morning run to the Eiffel Tower and back turned into a 15-mile plus run/walk hitting all the major sites of Paris. Originally, our travel plans were for northern Spain; however, we couldn’t resist the invite to piggyback on our close friends’ trip to France, most of which was centered around the Bordeaux region and Normandy, leaving only one full day in Paris. Now we have been before but it’s been quite a while and this was a nice little appetizer before our weeks-long stay in Spain.
Our hotel was situated logistically perfect for what we were able to cram into this visit. Rue Cambon is right in the middle of fabulous shopping and more importantly pretty much in the middle of Paris … to the right the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe … to the left the Louvre, Notre-Dame … in front, the Seine … behind, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur. We hit them all … In One Day. If you’re not familiar, let me just say … This Was An Impressive Feat.
So back to the run … Running somewhere new is always exhilarating for me. I feel like a kid in a toy store, a visual smorgasbord and especially a monuments run. It’s physically, mentally and spiritually engaging. You never seem to get tired when mind, body and soul are engaged until finally taking a break several hours into it, suddenly realizing your body’s limitations and then the equally exhilarating but really more terrifying realization that you’ve now got to get back, stopping for sustenance and caffeine in any form to coast in on fumes … exhausting yet a most rewarding experience.
As I stated before, we chose the Eiffel Tower as the beginning of our tour passing both magnificent bridges and quaint cafes on our way there. Turning back in the opposite direction we headed for The Louvre. In the past we have always walked the sidewalks but this time opted to go down the steps to the river’s edge. The Seine is like a map in Paris. It leads to most sites and walking right at the water’s level is an experience all in itself. There is less foot traffic to navigate, adorable eateries, plenty of photo ops, water fountains and bathrooms. I have revealed in previous posts my fascination with overpasses and running under these bridges did not disappoint. Once we made it to the Louvre we took the obligatory optical illusion pics then headed for Notre Dame. Seeing the fire devastation from a few years ago was moving. Sites like this belong to all of us and we simply stopped in our tracks to take it in, pay respects, and pray for healing.
As we headed back towards our hotel, Sweetheart suggested we continue to Montmartre. Montmartre?! That’s quite a way … mostly inclines … and steep steep steps … several rounds of them … at the very end. Are you sure? … Why not? … …. … Alrighty then, however I did negotiate a refueling stop. So after enjoying a brief outdoor cafe, up we go. It was worth it. It is always worth it. Montmartre is perfectly Parisian with outdoor markets of artists painting willing subjects or local scenes, artisans selling their wares, more cafes and the piece de resistance … Sacre Coeur. Overlooking the entire city, Sacre Coeur is a magnificent punctuation to any visit to Paris.
This was the point in the day that I refer to as navigating back on fumes. We were done. And Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe were still needing to be checked off. Making the decision to return to the hotel to shower and clean up was spot on as walking down the Champs Elysees at night was a more than impressive sight to behold. The Eiffel Tower in the background lit up, showing off at times blinking her lights, the Arc de Triomphe lit up as well, but the head and tail lights on the cars as they whizzed past made for a risky yet colorful memory in pictures.
A simply perfect day in Paris courtesy of The Run.