Prepping for Paris

Paris was not on my list of places to go. Of course, my list of places to go includes only Spain, Moscow, and Georgia (with a slightly blossoming prospect of Kazakhstan), so not many places are actually there. However, like Athens and Rome, my marathon running is taking me to a wonderfully romanticized city, and I find myself yet again considering my latent expectations for this experience.

The first thing that I am starting to realize is that Paris is huge. There is no way for me to see “all of it,” or even enough pieces to cover the standard Paris-trip. My vacation is only five days long, and two of those days will be spent in Cheverny, actually running my marathon. It was a difficult decision to try a smaller marathon outside of Paris this time, but we think that the intimacy of the situation and natural environment will be much more conducive to a pleasurable run. However, that means that even though I will be flying into Paris, I wont really be going there as much as I will be stopping through. This means that those five day tours, or even weekend tours, are no good. Really, the three of us have time to build 2-4 really good experiences in Paris, and with almost no knowledge of the city I am not sure where to start constructing these experiences.

First of all, these are the things that I think about when I think of Paris: love, Hemingway, Moulin Rouge, coffee, wine, food, the lourve, notre dame, the seine, writers, cafes, artists, photography, sarte, montmarte, hot, flowers, alcohol.

So what I’ve got so far as ideas to make these preconceptions into experiences is:

  1. Taking a river boat on the Seine. There is apparently one that stops at both the Eiffel tower and notre dame with on-off tickets. 
  2. A walking tour of the Latin quarter, with possibly a few stops at cafes. 
  3. A sunset picnic in a park, maybe near to the Eiffel Tower, or in the gardens. 
  4. Renting a bicycle. 
  5. Doing a random photo shoot, although I am unsure of what kind. 
All of the writing and Hemingway that is wrapped up in Paris for me seems like it will have to wait until I am there for a longer time. Two days doesn’t seem long enough to waste hours writing in a cafe, ignoring my friends. 
So, Paris. Yet another big city. With my dissillusionment of Istanbul and my hate of metropolicity I am a little concerned for this “vacation,” but I know that so far my vacations with both Jez and Nikola (Athens, Rome, Venice, Skopje, and Nis) have been fantastic, and so despite the overwhelming impossibleness of the location I expect nothing less this time around. 

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