Team Anderson in Paris - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

June 1, 2022 to June 2, 2022

Team Anderson in Paris

The day started with a search for a temporary Paris home for Team Anderson. Several options were considered, priorities shuffled and re-shuffled, and the nearby Hotel Ami was the eventual winner – great staff, wonderful neighborhood (mine), and a name that was perfect for the circumstances.

We decided to split up for the day – Scott took to the streets of Paris on his bike while Rachael and I would take the “kids” out to explore Paris on foot. We introduced Vincent and Ace to the GBO and all three were thrilled to meet and for the opportunity to enjoy a day out in such great company. We started out for Luxembourg Gardens, via the Institut Pasteur and the Montparnasse Cemetery. I was explaining to Rachael how it came to be that I did a sabbatical at the Institut Pasteur, when who should we bump into but Carla – my friend colleague who had invited me to work in her lab in Paris. 

My intention had been to enter Luxembourg Gardens from the south, a route that would include Montparnasse Cemetery and the Fontaine des Quatre Parties du Monde. It was similar to a route I’d taken once before and I relied on memory to find our way - not surprisingly, we got lost. The upside is that you’re never really lost in Paris, you are just in a place you’ve yet to discover. Switching to tech rather than memory, we made our way to the intended destinations, and from there through Saint-Germain-des-Pres and to the Seine. 

We escaped the throngs of tourists in central Paris by walking along the riverside promenades and side streets of Île de la Cite before crossing over to quieter Île-Saint-Louis. Descending to the Quai de Bourbon, we found a nice bench in the shade at Place Louis Aragon and watched the boats ply the Seine as we lunched on goat cheese and spinach quiches. It'd been a marvelous morning in Paris.

First order of the day - finding a place to sleep tonight
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Scott preparing to explore Paris by bike
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Rachael and I choose to explore Paris on foot with the kids, Vincent, the GBO and Ace
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A random street encounter with Carla near the Institut Pasteur
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Stopping to smell the flowers
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Vincent and the GBO cuddle up at the Montparnasse Cemetery
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The Sartre-de Beauvoir grave festooned with lipstick and metro tickets
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Rachael on the streets of Paris
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Le Jardin du Luxembourg - we finally made it
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Time for lunch
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A little windy at the Place Louis Aragon, on the Quai de Bourbon
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After lunch, we crossed over to the right bank and strolled on the Voie Georges-Pompidou, taking in the views and curious sights along the river. We stopped for a while at the Louvre Pyramid, letting the kids bask in the sun while I tried to get a photo of Rachael in line with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Luxor Obelisk, and the Arc de Triomphe. We made our way through the Tuileries Garden and the Place de la Concorde and west along the Seine before crossing the Alexander III bridge and heading home. It was a route I’d taken scores of times, albeit with numerous variations. Nonetheless, I got us turned around and headed in the wrong direction. My brain could not process what GoogleMaps was showing me, so I gave up and we relied on Rachael to lead us back home. In all, we tallied 12 miles through the streets of Paris on a perfect June day.

Looking across the Seine to Île-Saint-Louis and our lunch spot at the Place Louis Aragon, on the tip of Quai de Bourbon
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It was a perfect day for a walk along the Seine
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Too long in the river
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On alert for mallards swimming in the Seine
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Photo bombed by tourist vehicles
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The kids sunning at the Louvre
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Rachael is amused that she is the one guiding us home through the streets of Paris
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As wonderful as the day was, the evening might have been even better. We enjoyed a wonderful meal at an Italian restaurant Rachael had found near the Eiffel tower, sitting outside on a quiet side street with the iconic monument rising above. We headed home along the Champs de Mars, filled with Parisiens enjoying a late spring evening as the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower, it’s reflection captured in the façade of the Grand Palais Éphémère. Paris was certainly doing its best to enchant Team Anderson.

Awaiting our fine Italian meal at Il Sorrentino
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The Montparnasse Tower and distant rooftops appear to float in the clouds above the Grand Palais Éphémère
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Double shot of the Grand Palais Éphémère
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The facade of the Grand Palais Éphémère is magical, transparent to what is within while reflecting images on the outside
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Paris in the setting sun
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June 2

It was another brilliant day in Paris – sunshine, blue sky, puffy clouds, warm but not hot. I’d hope that we could spend the day exploring Paris on bike, but the injury to Vivien George meant my only two-wheeled option was the Velib. This would limited me to successive rounds of 30 minutes cycling before I had to return the bike to an available station and take out a different bike, repeat. Certainly not ideal, but Scott and Rachael were willing to give it a go. We got off to a bumpy start as there were no working bikes at the two Velib stations nearest my apartment - most bikes get taken early in the day by folks who ride to work. I finally secured a bike at the Cambrone metro  station and we were on our way to the Pont de Bir Hakeim and the L'île aux Cygnes. Scott and Rachael cycled to the end of the island and crossed to the right bank where I met them with a new Velib. It was a splendid ride along another section of the Voie Georges-Pompidou, with the Seine on our right and the Eiffel Tower rising ahead.

Scott found a nicely shaded grassy spot just off the Champs de Mars for a leisurely picnic lunch, complete with a tablecloth I’d brought from my apartment – it was almost as if we were real Parisiens, enjoying easy conversations on a range of interesting topics. Finally it was time to go, literally for Rachael, and Team Anderson headed back to their hotel. Rachael and I met a short while later for round two of Paris by foot (and metro) while Scott reprised his Paris by bike tour.

Scott explains to Rachael that it isn't so bad cycling the streets of Paris, but she doesn't seem convinced
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The sidewalk was the best route to the L'île aux Cygnes
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Rachael on the L'île aux Cygnes
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Our picnic lunch begins
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Time to go: Step 1 - lift bikes back over fence
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Step 2. Check the Garmins
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And they're off - Team Anderson heads for the hotel while I return on foot and Velib
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The Luxor Obelisk and the Place de la Concorde,
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The Luxor Obelisk - over 3,000 years old, it was one of two obelisks that flanked the door to the Luxor Temple during the reign of Ramesses II.
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Fountain figure in the Place de la Concorde
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Taking a break in Parc Monceau
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When Rachael's metro ticket failed to open the gate, I encouraged her to just crawl underneath. She started to comply, the wisely chose to explain to the metro attendant that her ticket didn't work. It's France, so there was a lot of paperwork to resolve the problem
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Through the gates at last
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Our last dinner in Paris was at a nearby Thai restaurant – Khao Tip - one I’d not visited in spite of the fact that I love Thai food. We easily found a selection of entrées and mains that we all could enjoy, and enjoy was definitely an understatement. The food was fantastic, the best I’ve had outside of my visit to Thailand several years ago. The chef was a Thai woman in her mid-forties, who emerged from the kitchen smiling with delight as we praised her efforts. Our waiter was her son, who’d come to Paris to help his mother. Both exuded warmth and desire to please, making us feel as if we were in their home sharing a remarkable home-cooked meal with friends and family. I couldn’t imagine a better way to close this chapter of the Adventures of Susan and Team Anderson.

The Salmon and Panang Curry commands the full attention of Team Anderson
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We're in awe and a bit intimidated by the whole dourade in sweet and sour sauce, but we soon had it cleaned to the bone
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Au revoir, mes amis - until we meet again
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Today's ride: 3 miles (5 km)
Total: 1,199 miles (1,930 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 5
Keith AdamsDang I love Paris!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonI can’t believe I missed seeing this before! I’m going to have to add a link back to this into our own journal so I remember to reread this from time to time. Thanks so much for helping us have such an exceptional experience here.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonI missed it too, somehow. Wonderful post with great photos!
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2 months ago
Jacquie Gaudet“You’re never really lost in Paris, you are just in a place you’ve yet to discover.” I love that and next time I’m there (there *will* be a next time) I need to allow for more time!
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2 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Jacquie GaudetThanks Jacquie. You should definitely take a little time to discover some of the less well known parts of Paris. I try to spend some time there each year and I'd love to show you around if the timing ever works.
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2 months ago