Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tour de FRICKIN France

Okay, so I've been really remiss in updating the blog. In fact, I'm several days behind. But when I go out, I come back late and I'm tired and sigh. Whatever. So this is going to be a pretty short description of what went down last Sunday. It was pretty fabulous day.

So at 11 or so, Celine and I met up in the reception and went to the creperie that now knows us both and got two crepes. Then we took a nice walk to Hotel de Ville, where we took the metro to Les Champs Elysees, where the Tour was doing its final stages. There were already tons of people there, but not as many as on Bastille Day. So the first thing I do, like a genius, is buy ridiculous amounts of souvenirs and Tour de France gear for my family back home. Because, really, how often do you get to say you went to the Tour de France? Right. Not often at all. So we walked a good ways until we spot a completely empty spot (right between a tree and pole, whatever) and claimed it as our own. Very good spot. Practically right next to the road, and 100m from the finish line (called "Sprint").

There we stood. For 5. Frickin. Hours. FIVE HOURS. The bikers were supposed to come by at two but the only people who started coming by at 2pm were the Tour sponsors. Sponsors after sponsors after sponsors, touting their products with huge floats, moving automatic structures, trucks with dancers, loud music, painted vehicles, hoses, the works. It was a very entertaining procession that lasted way too long. But entertaining nonetheless.

Before the cyclists came by, we had an interesting "incident." Celine and I had great spots so people kept trying to squeeze through and get as close as possible to the road. At some point, a very large foul-smelling mouth-breathing man came by and kept trying to squeeze through the crowd towards the railing, putting his hand right next to mine. I kept pushing him away so he went and stood right behind Celine, practically pushing up against her. Finally, the very nice man next to Celine called over the police and the police shooed the man away. I thought a fight was going to break out and was extremely eager. Unfortunately, it did not. However, I did notice another neighbor once Mouth Breather had left:

Too cute. Too too cute. Okay, on to the cyclists: everyone freaked out when they saw the first cyclist coming towards us. And then suddenly, it was a procession. Several cars full of supplies and security officials and the like came speeding by, followed a tight throng of cyclists all biking at insane speeds, followed by a lot more cars with bikes strapped to the roofs, a medic, and some policemen on motorcycles. The cars were going so fast to keep up with the cyclists. Most of the photos I took were basically blurs because they were moving so fast. Anyway, it was pretty thrilling.

These things are timed trials though. So basically they do several laps and get points for finishing with a certain time (I believe...) so they had to do eight laps around the Champs Elysees and that was the final leg. After the fourth lap, Celine and I decided we had seen enough blurs on bikes and peaced out. After getting back to the foyer, we got Celine her last ever crepe, I ate a dinner of something..and we had a nice snacking session by the Seine as the sun debated setting (it was only 6:30, so it decided not to).

All in all, pretty awesome day. So these last few days have been chock full of events, which I will write about asap. Tomorrow: Free Museum Day!! Woot. Going to be a busy busy LONG day. A plus tard!

1 comment:

  1. so i've been remiss in my commenting, but i've been reading your posts i promise!
    it's about time you came home though. i miss you a lot :(