Sunday, May 11, 2014

Liking the Biking: Away to Visit Paris part 2

It's with a touch of trepidation that Ken and I push away from the curb and begin our tour of Paris sur les vélos. We've been gasping at the traffic for a week, surprised we haven't witnessed a single fender bender. Now we are hurling ourselves into the fray. I just hope that our guide, John-Baptise, owner of Blue Bike Tours, does not take us to the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile. J-B laughs when I ask him if the famous traffic circle is on our agenda. No, but he says it's easier than one might think to navigate through traffic there. And he adds, it's not true that Parisians must take their driving tests at the Arc de Triomphe.

Despite being a little nervous at first, it turns out we are 
in good hands with John-Baptise of Blue Bike Tours.
Our evening bike tour takes us along the Seine, past grand buildings, statues and parks. The evening holds many "Gee-I-never-knew-that!" moments: J-B tells us about the honey bee hives atop the Palais Garnier Opera House and shows us the building where the Texas embassy was once located. (France was the first country to recognize the republic which existed 1836-1846.) At the Ritz, he whips out a photo of Coco Chanel gazing out her window of the famed hotel toward the plaza where we are standing. 

Our group listens as John-Baptise shares something
fascinating about Notre Dame, I think.

John-Baptise shows us what over-priced honey
from the Garnier Opera House looks like.

We stop for a snack (crème glacée pistache et citron for me) at the Tour Eiffel. We are running a bit behind, so we skedaddle to the huge skyscraper Tour Montparnasse. J-B locks up the bikes and we head for the roof for a spectacular nightscape view. 

The wind whipping through my hair has inspired me to play with my camera settings, so I take some unusual photographs this evening, the highlight of our Paris trip.

C'est nous, encore une fois! Standing in the 
Avenue des Champs-Élysées as the 
sun sets behind the Arc de Triomphe.

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