Paris 1

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Our hotel is in a very touristic area near Notre Dame and Le Louvre, so we breakfasted along Boule St Mich near the Sorbonne where the concentration of tourists is a bit lower. In Jardin de Luxembourg a gendarme blew his whistle at Ian because he was cycling in the park (forbidden!). Luckily he didn’t hit him with his baton. There was a Chopin poster exhibition and there are some outdoor concerts over the next few days.

Chopin a Paris

We cruised around on the Velibs. They are sturdy, rather heavy to lift over a curb, have 3 hub gears, lights that go on when the bike is moving, a strong basket on the front, no rear racks and a lock. We found the Quartier Chinois, a good boulangerie, some street art, watched 4 messieurs eating steak tartare for lunch and ended up at the roller shop where I hired roller blades for Pari-Roller 10pm – 1am tonight. I am a bit nervous about this because of my limited training and the rather demanding course, but I plan to revert to a Velib if it gets too hard.

We are trying out our French as much as possible and are at a pretty elementary standard where we can work out what we want to say but cannot anticipate what a French person might reply.  Then we look blank and say ‘pardon’. But English is spoken in many places and we often end up having a conversation consisting of both languages.

OK – now it’s later and my thrilling but brief Pari-Roller experience is over. I am unharmed! I got togged up with roller blades, pads and helmet and cruised along to the Tour de Montparnasse where it all starts. After a bit of warming up the randonee began and there I was, on the road, gliding along with everyone else. I even managed going down a hill. Volunteer staff, support vehicles and roller police accompany the group. The main trouble for me was the fast pace and after a couple of km I was well and truly dropped by the pack and had to retire. I untogged and we Velibbed (new verb) over to the Eiffel Tower, all lit up, where there was a huge crowd listening to a busker who was playing La Bamba and hundreds of people queuing to go up. It is a beautiful mild night.

2 Responses to “Paris 1”

  1. wieteke Says:

    Hi Rosalie and Ian!

    Wauw, you arrived in Paris, great! Good luck discovering Paris on little roles!

    Wieteke

  2. Marion Says:

    Roll, Rosalie, Roll! You can do it! I’ve seen your superior style. The Parisians will all be copying you so your major concern is to watch the crowd develop behind you.

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