My excellent adventure started twelve days ago. Each day, I provide a bit of insight into my travels, with some things I believe you might enjoy. In the end, we are all travelers. I choose to make each day, whether I am in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, my old home, or San Jose, California, my new returned home, or Paris, France, a bit of an adventure. It is, truly, about your vision.
Bebe John, photo from Marathon de Paris FB site
I knew that the Paris marathon would be a bit different that ones I had been to in the past, but, I did not know how different.
My Saturday was spent heading to the Palais de Versailles Expo Center, and met the Media team for the marathon. Laetitia Briand and her assistant Flora, run the media credentials, which is a bit different than credential operations in North America, but quite good at keeping pretenders out of the media area and, in these days, supporting more stringent security measures.
I enjoyed the expo. It was huge! Everyone had to go through the ASICS store, and it was a buying frenzy! After that, I visited the other running brands. Enjoyed the Paris model of Saucony Kinvara, with the colors of the Republic.
There must have been booths for all fifty six marathons in France. And then, there are more trail and I mean rough trail race booths than any country I have ever seen. One was 133 kilometers!
The day before the Paris Marathon was one of those glorious days that one remembers for a long time. Sunny, a bit of wind, and a perfect day for doing what Parisians do: have a coffee, read the paper, and chat with friends.
Only one issue: the restaurant and cafe managers along the Rue de Place de Versailles were not allowing one to sit down and take their limited space, unless one ate as well. Some fantastically dirty looks, in many languages, when the matron of one trattoire told a Swedish couple that tables were for those who eat.
So, like a good Francophile, I had my copy of L'Equipe, the daily sports paper, and a copy of the International NY Times (used to be Herald Tribune). I found a place serving Eggplant Parmigiana, and had my lunch.
My favorite moment of the day was my two hour walk down the Rue De Place Versailles, across the Sienne, into some nice neighgorhoods for two hours. I love the smells of small restaurants, and recall, in one neigbhorhood, as a line of people waited for the owner to pull about a dozen rotisseried chickens out of the rotisserie, with their bags, ready to take dinner home.
There was a huge rubgy game in Paris on Saturday, and I walked through several areas where many found cheap parking and were enjoying their teams victory.
My music: Allman brothers, Chuck Mangione, and Bruce Hornsby, added to the flavor of the evening and my walk. It was a singular experience for this trip.
One of the reasons why I enjoy long walks with my world travels: new discoveries and smells bring back memories of youth.
I saw four children, all under twelve, with a father and grandfather after the rubgy game. The kids had their teams' colors and a scarf saying " World Champions since 2013!" They were having so much fun just running around, with the father and grandfather smiling, that one wonders how they could have sat down for the game!
A view I would not have seen, without a journey off the main streets.