Thursday, August 04, 2005

Day 1 - Paris

So, despite the fuss about the trains, we arrived in Paris to bright sunshine: yes, that's why we came all this way. We had met a couple with their grandson on the train who were also going to cycle the same route, but they were starting in Compiegne because they wanted to cycle into Paris. For me, cycling from Gare du Nord is just as good, because that is where Paris for me begins; the endless suburbs remaining a testament to the French habit of building beautiful houses and letting them fall into rack and ruin.

l'Arc de TriompheWe cycled from Gare du Nord against the traffic, past Gare St. Lazare onto the Champs Elysees and then onto l'Arc De Triomphe. It felt a little crazy and heady cycling under this great monument to Napoleon's ego but watching everyone clamour for photos (us included) detracts from the experience somewhat.

Onto the camspite in the Bois de Boulogne, via the long route; it took us almost two hours to cycle the 10 km from Gare du Nord. The campsite was expensive camping, although at €16 per night for two persons, still the cheapest way to legally spend the night in Paris.

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