Monday, July 26, 2010

Run 2: Les Invalides, the Seine (and the Tour de France)

After the epic success that was our first run in Paris, I was really hoping that that easy energy and "I can run forever" feeling was going to be a Parisian run trait... Sadly, this was not the case. Run 2 ended up being one of the runs where I really struggled to motivate myself to keep running and instead of the longer route that we'd plotted that would have been a tad over 4 miles, we ended up taking the original shorter one instead, hitting a bit over three (if you count all the time that we were running that Mr. Garmin couldn't remember that we were still "more than 100 miles away" from home... even though he'd been used the other day).

For Run 2, we decided to run over to Les Invalides, the old hospital for war vets that houses Napoleon Bonaparte's remains once he was repatriated from Elba. After running around the main domed building and the gardens, we hit the Seine. This was pretty funny because we thought we were going to be able to go down and run next to the river like you can on certain parts of the river. Apparently, it's only at certain places that you can do this. We accidentally ended up first in a metro station and then running on what would be the equivalent of the shoulder of a highway type road... and then up it's entrance ramp back to the normal street level. Needless to say, we'll be more attentive next time.

After the Seine, we moseyed our way back to our dorm via the Boulevard Saint-Germain and the Boulevard Raspail. One thing that is hilarious about street running in Paris is that you run by a lot of cafés with their outdoor terrasses and hence their outdoor waitstaff and patrons, who frequently feel the need or desire to either yell at you or cheer you on (mostly cheer you on). The waiters are especially big fans of this, and I have yet to go on a run here where at least one (male) waiter hasn't yelled either "On y va!" (Let's go!) or some random English comment. All in all, I find it amusing and sort of motivating... It's hard to walk just after being cheered on (especially when you know they're all probably looking at "Ze crazy American girls who are running").

Unfortunately for this run, I kept leaving things in my room upstairs as we went to leave and kept going back to get them... and forgetting a new thing each time. In the end, when I went up to get Mr. Garmin (how could I run without him?!), I ended up leaving both my cellphone (who has a camera) and my camera in the room and didn't realize it until we were already on the Blvd des Invalides... Sad day. We'll definitely either go on a run their again or at least pass by on a tour, I'm sure.

Anyway, here's the break down and map from the run, once MG clued in.

In other news, we spent yesterday watching the arrival of the Tour de France in Paris. Instead of crowding onto the Champs-Elysées, we found a spot at Rue de Rivoli that was also on the circuit, so we were able to take PLENTY of photos. Our camera has a speed shot setting on it with 5 photos per second, so by the time I got home, I had taken 455 photos in a few hours!!! Needless to say, I easily wheedled that down to a more manageable 70 on my iPhoto.

This would be the French interpretation of a hotdog. I don't want to know the points value of this creation: a hot dog stuffed in a baguette smothered in toasted cheese. I only had a bit of Christy's and, oh man was it delicious!

Look! A Garmin car in the parade!

For dinner we hit up a French restaurant on Rue de la Huchette (by the Seine/Notre Dame) and each were able to order a "menu". As an entrée (which is actually an appetizer in French), I had a chèvre chaud salade, which is a green salad that is served with a few slices of baguette that are toasted with goat cheese (chèvre) and spices on top of them. Then, for dinner I had an émincé de rumsteck with a roquefort sauce (steak with a blue cheese sauce) and a small serving of chocolate mousse for dessert. One thing I really love about French restaurants is the ability to order a menu. For one price, you get to chose from each of the three categories (or 2 if you opt out of either the entrée or the dessert). It makes the meal smoother AND allows you to take your time. Here in France, waiters never rush you to finish your food or to move through the courses. Dining out is an experience to be enjoyed and it's not uncommon to spend 2-3 hours at dinner. Afterwards, we took a stroll around the Ile-de-la-Cité (i.e. Notre Dame) before catching the métro back home. What a nice little Parisian day. :)