Á Paris (40/21,440ks)

(written by Dave)

We’ve made it to Paris.  We didn’t ride much today as most of our travel was via the train.  We are probably done riding officially for the greater part of our trip – ah, that’s sad.  We hope to get in a few rides in Oregon so that our friends in Sydney don’t think the whole riding part of our grand journey was a fraud.  We’d hate to have them think all we really did was hang out in Paris and eat croissants (though that is what we are planning to do the next week while we are here).

Paris greeted us with rain – no surprise there, as that’s our story here in France.  We had no issues finding our apartment – Nancy’s hand drawn map and the iPhone made it easy.  Traffic was pretty heavy and it is a bit nervy riding to or from a big city train station but I am now a firm believer in this being a good way avoid the worst of suburban traffic.  I’m not going to try recounting the entire trip here but we had fun today on the train when we made a list of cities which cycled into or out of on this trip.  The list includes:  Paris, London, Istanbul, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Singapore, Sydney, Athens, Florence, Salzburg and Dresden.  And to think, we generally tried to avoid cities.  I am always thankful when these short, stressful stages are over.

Our apartment is on the slopes leading up to Montmarte, a small hill overlooking the northern part of Paris.  In the 60s, Montmarte was an artist’s quarter.  Most of the famous artists left a long time ago, making room for trendy shops, tourist restaurants and gourmet food shops.  We’ll probably skip the trendy shops but the other two will feature high on our list of things to do while we are here.  We ventured out from the apartment this afternoon to get some food and found more places to try out than we will have time for.  We also spotted some of those classic French foods that make you go eeeww.  Anyone up for some BBQ chicken complete with feet?  How about some head cheese of beef or the ever tasty jowl of pork?  And of course there is everyone’s favorite, fresh rabbits complete with pelts.  Get your orders in now (we didn’t).

Not sure what we’ll get up to while we are here.  We’ve seen many of the sites before but places like the Louvre are endless so second visits are never going to be boring.  Local food and wine will certainly feature as well.  Though, Nancy has already put anything with excess gelatin and weird meat on the “off-limits” list.

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