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Le Tour de France…and “de Europe” for that matter!!! July 26, 2011

Posted by Andy Barrenechea in Travel Log.
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Hello hello,

Seems like just yesterday I was in Barcelona, eating tapas and speaking Spanish. But no, that was actually a week ago – how time flies when you’re nearing the end of a long journey, I’m convinced!

This past weekend (a 2-day) was my last official travel weekend, and I went with a group of friends to watch the very last stage of the Tour de France – an experience that involved little sleep, a lot of pushing and shoving, some arguing, and quite a bit of excitement…in other words, a helluva time!!

We arrived to Paris on Saturday morning and knowing the metro system like the back of our hands, proceeded directly to Le Musee d’ Orsay where we saw some amazing artwork; unfortunately, cameras weren’t allowed 😦 So you’ll have to take my word for it!

After we were done with the museum, we went and picked up some lunch (one of my last baguette sandwiches in Paris) and then proceeded to go on a mad shopping spree, well sorta, because we spent like most of the time trying to find this Puma store on the Champs-Elysees, and since that one street is like forever-miles long it took a while, but we eventually found it!! We also took the time to scout out that same street for good viewing spots for Sunday for when the cyclists would come into Paris, and we actually ended up standing in a place that we didn’t even see on Saturday, but that was a good thing. I was insistent that we go to Mass at Notre Dame, so we did at 6:30 and then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a small restaurant shortly afterward and then finally met up with the rest of the group at the hostel to get some good rest in preparation for Sunday.

Speaking of a good night’s sleep, it so happened that my room slept through our alarm and sure enough the other room didn’t, so I got ready in all of 3 minutes and was promptly out the door on Sunday morning at about 5:55 AM – yes, a beautiful time to be awake, indeed! Here’s what happens when I’m sleep deprived:

What I do at 5:55 AM on the Paris metro!

Once we made it to the Champs, we went straight for breakfast, and let me tell you, someone was hungry!! See for yourself:

He likes Egg McMuffins 😛

As we walked in the wee hours of the morning, we found many shops with Tour stuff, it was like super-uber cool:

They sold a 20 euro package of goods!

The winner, the sprinter, the climber, and the spirit of youth!

And I was able to take great pictures of actual Paris monuments and the Champs itself before the inception of the last stage; take a look:

Yeah, I'm excited 🙂

Before the race = not crowded

And finally, after almost 10 hours of waiting…we saw a square car, like no joke:

One of the cars at the parade before the race - pretty boxy!

Haha, okay, so maybe we saw some AWESOME cyclists as well – and they were going super-duper fast!!! Imagine them in motion:

They're so close!!

And the rest of them!

And finally, the guy in first place on the last lap – a pretty impressive feat if you ask me! Just look at him:

And he was in first place on the last lap!!!

And thus, our travels in Europe ended on a “winning” note and I can truly say that it has felt like a “Tour de Europe” if I may say so myself, and you know, I think I might have won the race!!!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom…”

Au revoir amigos – until the next time,

Andy

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Comments»

1. Senthuran - July 28, 2011

Well said at the end my man! I like how we both finished on a philosophical note! Btws the Lambo probably is still there if you want to drive it 🙂


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