All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Paris and Le Tour de France - Part 1

On the 25th of July I headed out to Paris to meet Nik, and see my sister Kath, who I haven't seen since I was back home a few years ago and a couple of mates. Clayton over traveling around Europe and the UK and Nadia and Hadyn, who had attended a conference then headed to Paris.

Nik, Kath and I arrived at our hotel at varying times, got settled in and then went to dinner, and Nik got to meet the first member of my family. (One at a time, she should survive this way, I think) ;-)

The next day we headed off to meet Clayton at Le Louvre and then headed off to pootle around and generally enjoy Paris. The best way to do this is certainly by the new cheap "Velib" system, which Clayton who had been in Paris for a few days introduced us to. Velib:

Basically, you put down a deposit, pay 1 euro for 24hrs and you can hire a bike for 30 minute periods at a time from a network of Velib stations around Paris. Whilst a great idea, not so great when your knees are still screwed from injury. next time guys, when I say my knees are screwed, guess what, they are!

Le Louvre

Anyway, on the bikes andof we set, first to a little crappiere (sp?), which was brilliant and hidden away from the tourist traps, then off up to the Opera area. A look around up there and then we all agreed that ducking into a bar to watch the final Time Trial of le tour was in order. We would also be joined by Nadia and Hadyn at this point.

Clay, Kath and Nik, Opera, Paris.

This would be Cadels last chance to regain the "malliot jaune" and win the tour. Alas, he did not, but he went down fighting a brilliant fight as he had done so through out the tour. Maybe next year Silence-Lotto will be a stronger team and can fight the strength and depth of the awesome CSC.

So Sunday would see us on the Champs Elysees with thousands of others to congratulate the teams and riders that had completed another grueling Tour de France and the winners of the different jersey's. More about that later.

So what to do in Paris, on a Saturday night.............mooch around, get changed and head out to dinner was the plan and a successful one at that.

We headed to a great little restaurant which Kath had selected to meet, Ruth and Ramaine, two friends of Clayton's that now reside in Paris.

The location of the restaurant was very Parisian and the food, wine and company fantastic. We took our time and enjoyed just relaxing and being away from the daily grind of our normal lives. Eventually we would decided it was time to leave and head back to the hotel for some sleep ready for a long day on the Champs Elysees.

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