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Free Running Tour of Paris
Today’s running tour of Paris was nothing short of unique.
Heading to the Île de la Cité, I was gobsmacked to see this:
Floodwaters from the last three days’ worth of consistent rain has the Seine at over 6 meters above its normal level, submerging everything that isn’t floating.
Sure, the water’s been higher before (a crazy 8.6 meters back in 1910), but this is supposed to be spring. Summer’s only a few weeks away… To say the weather has been un-seasonal would be a gross understatement.
Fiona from the Let’s Run Paris group braved the cold and the risk of rain to join me for a once-in-a-lifetime running tour along the Seine to see how bad it could get.
Pretty bad, it turns out.
All of the Seine-side businesses are completely underwater, leaving boats that were butting up against their moorings floating off in no-mans-land, their tethers disappearing under the brown fast moving water where the pathway used to be.
It’s not just a little bit flooded; if I was standing on the walkway, I reckon I’d have the water double overhead…
The embankment was lined with curious onlookers trying to capture it all through their phones (guilty…)
Most of the run was spent gawking at the flood, but we found time to catch a glimpse at Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame Cathedral, l’Assemblée Nationale, Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III, Petit and Grand Palais and the Louvre, where they’ve closed their doors to move the art pieces out of the potential flood zone.
It’s shut the Louvre!!
The forecast is for even more rain. Three of four days of it. On the run back to Île de la Cité we noticed workmen setting up the modern day equivalent of sandbags; Big steel barriers.
Hopefully, for everyone’s sake (not least the runner’s), we get some fine weather soon.
In any case, it was great to get out and take a 9km run with Fiona around the banks of the Seine. We checked in at a touch over an hour, with many stops for photos and videos!
Paris really turned it on today for one of the best Friday Free-day running tours of the season. The weather was perfect, the sun was out and shining, the run was a gem. Paris really was showing off.
Today’s run was a shortened version of last week’s running tour of Paris; shorter by distance but with all of the best that Paris has to offer still packed in:
Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Rive Gauche and the Latin Quarter, La Sorbonne, Le Panthéon, Luxembourg Gardens, Le Sénat, Church of Saint-Sulpice, Les Invalides, Eiffel Tower(!), The Seine, Pont Alexandre III, Petit and Grand Palais., Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, La Madeleine, l’Assemblée Nationale, the Louvre and Île de la Cité.
All the rock stars, all in one run.
What a ripper. It was still on the longer side, clocking in at a bit over 13km. But, why would you want it any shorter? Looking forward to next week’s run already.
Another great 10k run tonight with the Lets Run Paris group. The spring running route is a hilly one, with a course that takes in the Père Lachaise Cemetery – which is a lot better than it sounds… – and the gorgeous Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which really is a beauty this time of year.
A great run with great people!
Let’s Run Paris is ideal for expat runners in Paris; everyone loves running and they’re all great people. If you’re interested in Lets Run Paris, you can find their Meetup page here, or, if social media is more your thing, you can apply to join their Facebook page here.
Little note: Apologies for the tracking, the Garmin didn’t want to lock on!
Head home to RunParis.fr
Today’s Friday Free-day tour of Paris was a long one!
Starting out at the usual meeting spot at the statue to Henry III on Pont Neuf, and after checking out Notre-Dame Cathedral, then heading over to Rive Gauche. Copped a little bit of unexpected drizzle around Le Panthéon to cool things down after the run up the slope of La Sorbonne. Back downhill and through the lovely Luxembourg Gardens, past Le Sénat, and onwards to Church of Saint-Sulpice.
Made a beeline through some crowded smaller streets, running towards Musée Rodin and Les Invalides, and then onwards to the one and only Eiffel Tower.
Next, the run went back west along the banks of The Seine to the ornate Pont Alexandre III, with excellent views of Les Invalides, the Eiffel tower and the Petit and Grand Palais.
Running down the Champs-Élysées with the busy Arc de Triomphe in the background, the run headed back towards Concorde and Tuileries Gardens, with views of La Madeleine and l’Assemblée Nationale.
Through the gorgeous Tuileries and then running past The Louvre, then a straight shot back to Île de la Cité, where it all began.
A much bigger run than expected, but with a surprising amount packed into the amount of time it took.
Some lessons learned for next week’s run might be a shortening of the long run through the 7eme arrondissement to shorten things up, and to make sure I don’t run into the gates at Les Invalides!!
The run took a little under one and a half hours to cover the longer than expected fourteen kilometers.
Loved the run, but next week might be trimmed!
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Had a really nice article posted about the running tours on Urban Mishmash, go and check it out!
Urban Mishmash is an online guide to the art and cultural scene in Paris. Staying away from mainstream and touristic clichés, their website aims to inspire an authentic and wholesome experience of living in and exploring Paris! They seek out the best opportunities for sightseeing that exist in Paris – be it art exhibitions, cultural events or unusual things to do and secret places to discover. To experience Paris just as its locals do, visit Urban Mishmash’s website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!