I visited Paris for the first time this past April and immediately fell in love with this amazingly beautiful, cultured and totally accessible city! Whilst there, I put in a couple of runs as well as walked miles all over the city. One of my favourite runs was through the Louvre; not actually in the buildings, but through the grounds. I started at the east entrance and ran past the fountain in the Palais du Cour, through the entrance into the main courtyard, past the glass Pyramid, under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (the mini Arc), through the Jardin des Tuleries to the Musée de l’Orangerie (which houses the beautiful Monet Water Lilies) and into the grand Place de la Concorde with the 23 metre high Egyptian Luxor Obelisk.
I did this run, with variations, i.e. along the Seine River and into the adjoining neighbourhoods, twice. These were not fast runs with so much to see, but what sites they were(!!!): statues, fountains, architecture, storefronts, sidewalk cafés, people…
Once home, I vowed to return to Paris! And to “run Paris” again – with a group next time. I’ve been ruminating on how to do this and what sorts of tours could be done, other than the aforementioned Louvre run, when I came across the perfect book this past weekend at the cutest little independent bookstore in Langley on Whidbey Island: Moonraker Books.
The book, entitled Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the footsteps of Chanel, Hemmingway, Picasso, and More, by Christina Henry de Tessan, was loaded with facts, stories and maps with marked touring routes.
Here’s the tour map for Coco Chanel. How fun would that be?
Was this a message to me or what? These would be great running tours which could be first run and then explored at a more leisurely pace later in the day, when one could partake in the shopping and dining experiences.
Let the planning begin!