Last week found me travelling again for work. The second time in Paris in 2 weeks. It sounds lovely getting the chance to visit different places with someone else paying, however the reality is the first time I went to Paris I saw the train station, the hotel and the office. Literally nothing else!
This time I was staying over the Friday night and my train home wasn’t until the Saturday afternoon. First thought…. parkrun!! However, I’ve never used the Metro before, and it looked to be a fairly long journey from where I was staying (anyone in Paris, it would be great to hear from you as I might be going again fairly soon!).
If I couldn’t get to parkrun then I decided that I would go for a run to see some of the city. Baring in mind that I was coming down with a cold, I’d been at a work function Friday evening and hadn’t gone to bed till after 2.30am and it was pouring with rain……. I’ve decided that I am slightly mad!
I left the others at the hotel and set off. I was staying in the Opera district (which literally meant nothing to me a week ago) so I headed south towards the river with a plan to head east, cross over somewhere near the Notre Dame and head west along the south bank of the river and cross somewhere west of the Louvre (I had thought about going to the Arc de Triomph and running down the Champs de Elysees but that proved a bit optimistic!) so that I could head back through the gardens and to the Louvre pyramid.
It took me a little while to settle in to my run, probably not helped by stopping to take photos every now and then. I’m not really used to running in cities so it all felt a bit odd. Once I’d got to the river I felt a bit better and started counting bridges as my way of navigating, there were also many others running in this area – although I have to say, no one really said hello ! I suspect this is a city thing rather than a French thing.
I crossed over the river to the Notre Dame Cathedral, where I had to stop to take a picture. Then over the next bridge and on to the south bank. I tried to keep my head up and look at my surroundings – looking over at the Notre Dame and trying to take in the city I was running through.
I crossed back over to the Place de la Concorde and turned right into the gardens of the Louvre. I first visited Paris as a teenager on a school art trip. I distinctly remember seeing the Pyramid at the Louvre – one of the things that stood out about that trip, which is why I really wanted to head back there. It was lovely running up towards the Louvre and the Pyramid (although it isn’t as big as I remembered!). I stopped under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel to take a few pictures, post on facebook and send a text to my husband (whilst sheltering from the rain) before heading back into the city and trying to find my way back to the hotel.
I’m really pleased that I decided to go for a run. One part of me felt a bit guilty for not joining my colleagues on their look round the shops that morning, but then I feel like I got to see a bit more of, and feel a bit more comfortable in the city. The chances are I’ll be visiting a bit more because of work, so I’d love to feel more at home. The next challenge is to work out how to use the Metro!