To Paris - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

March 9, 2022

To Paris

An Inauspicious Beginning

My first extended stay in Europe was a six-month sabbatical in Paris in 2015. I’ve returned several times since then, typically for 2-3 months, and have come to feel quite comfortable living and traveling abroad. Therefore I was a bit taken aback at how nervous I was for this trip. Perhaps it was the time spent updating prime directives, powers of attorney, and beneficiaries – all necessary, but a bit anxiety inducing. And then there was the visa-required insurance policy covering repatriation of remains.

 An impromptu pilates session on Monday with my niece Alyssa relaxed both body and mind and I was pretty calm heading to the airport yesterday morning with passport in hand – no forgetting it this trip! Check-in was a breeze and I was able to wait for my flight in the calm and quiet of the premium lounge. Things got a little chaotic when I got in the boarding line with the throngs of people milling about waiting for their group to be called. I was surprised to see two TSA security guards checking IDs before boarding passes were scanned. And there were additional security at the jet way entrance. My heart started racing when security pulled aside the man in front of me – I had now entered a rabbit hole of unfounded fear of flying, imagining that our plane was targeted for destruction. I interpreted every little delay or change in routine as a sign of impending doom, trying not to go full scale John Lithgow in The Twilight Zone’s Nightmare at 20,000 ft.  Needless to say, we made it safely to Miami.

The flight to Paris was anxiety-free. We arrived early and I breezed through customs, not needing to show any proof of vaccination nor documents supporting my long stay visa. I gathered my luggage and bike bag and headed for the taxi stand. The taxi driver was quite friendly and accommodating, fitting the bike bag in the back of the small SUV and leaving the left half of the back seat open for me. I had thought to get in the passenger seat, but he opened the left rear door, waving me over to sit there. As the door was on the street side, I was watching for traffic as I made my way around the front of the car and didn’t notice that he was parked on a curb. My foot missed the step and I rolled my ankle, tumbling to the ground with gasps all around. Nothing seemed to be broken and I made it into the cab with a little help from passersby, keeping my foot elevated during the ride in to Paris.

 As we neared Paris, cranes rose up in all directions, no doubt signifying that preparations for the 2024 Olympics have begun in full force. On the outskirts of Paris, a new aquatic center is under construction across from the Stade de France, the largest stadium in France that will host track and field events. Plans also call for several venues in central Paris, so it might be interesting to dig a little deeper as to how Paris is to be transformed for the upcoming extravaganza.

Arriving in Paris
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When I arrived at my apartment building, the wonderful concierge Mme Oliveira helped me with my luggage, cramming both the encased Vivien George and herself into the tiny elevator for the short ride up to my place. She brought me an ice pack that she wrapped around my ankle and laid me on the couch with pillows for my head and foot. After ibuprofen and a couple of hours of rest, I managed a short and slow outing to the Monoprix and Pharmacy for a few food items and elastic compression tape. But I have spent most of my first day in Paris on the couch, giving my ankle the RICE treatment – rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Giving my ankle the RICE treatment
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It's looking better already!
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It’s not the best start, but I’ve been here before – in more ways than one! I’m sure all will be fine by the time I leave on the 18th for Spain to begin the first of what I hope are many splendid cycle tours.

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Comment on this entry Comment 8
Rich FrasierOh no! What a way to start your year! Hopefully you’ll be healed and back on your feet soon.
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5 months ago
Susan CarpenterThanks Rich. I’m glad I have some time to let it heal a bit
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5 months ago
Suzanne GibsonYikes, you're here already! Yoohoo! But so sorry to hear about the twisted ankle. You are taking good care of it and it is going to heal quickly, I'm sure. Looking forward to your first bicycle adventures, and Burgundy!
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonOh, crud. You do like the drama, don’t you Susan! It wasn’t needed though - I’m sure your journal will be quite interesting enough without any more incidents like this. Heal quickly!
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5 months ago
Kevin StevensGlad you made it back to Paris somewhat safely! We'll be following your adventures and cheering you on.
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5 months ago
marilyn swettSo sorry to hear about your ankle Susan and hope it heals quickly! I've sprained my ankle twice on trips and found I was able to bike using an ankle brace, along with icing/ibuprofen at night. Good luck!
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4 months ago
Laura ChiharaBe careful!!
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4 months ago
Lucy MartinSorry about your ankle. This is becoming a bad habit. RICE is the way. Looking forward to your posts.
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4 months ago