Last Month Superbreak’s Direct Marketing Manager Jaquie Fisher was lucky enough to catch the Tour de France in Paris on her Parisian Mini Break! Here’s what she got up to during her trip…
My husband is a keen cyclist, and the first few weeks of July every year, our TV is permanently set to The Tour De France. Cycling is not really my thing – but it took on a whole new appeal when he mentioned going to watch the last stage in Paris, what’s not to love about a trip to Paris?
Saturday gave us chance to explore the route Le Tour was going to take and mark out our best viewing spot. On the way we also went to the Arc de Triomphe, took a stroll down the Champs-Elysee and had lunch in the Tuileries Garden. We went to the Musee D’Orsay, which is housed in a train station that never opened. It is an amazing building and full of all the classic impressionist paintings and much more. The paintings are captivating, but so too are the stories about the artists themselves and how they lived in Montemarte.
Sunday was Tour day, but the first year the race was to have a twilight finish which gave us most of the day for more sightseeing. We walked down to Notre Dame, and explored the cathedral and some of the bars and shops on the Islands. Once we were stocked up with water and snacks we headed over find our positions for the race.
At 2pm the crowds were already building on the Rue de Rivoli and the Champs-Elysees, the atmosphere along both these roads was electric but the view wasn’t great. We wandered through the grounds of the Louvre to the side of the Tuileries Gardens that runs along the Seine. The area was quite quiet at 3pm with just a few groups of people. The added benefit of watching the race here was that there were chairs, a café selling take-away beer for €5 and the shade of some trees, as well as a great view all the way up Quai Des Tuileries.
By about 4pm a few more people arrived and we made some new friends, including Gloria and Steve. They used to live in Paris and were experienced Tour de France goers so we definitely knew we were in the best place! At about 6pm La Caravane started to go round the route, one drawback of where we were was that much of the convoy of promotional vehicles didn’t come past for fear of getting stuck in the tunnel.
Then at 8pm we could see the riders come into Paris along the Boulevard Saint Germain, within 5 minutes they were coming past us, it was amazing to be there and the benefit of watching the Paris stage is that they do 10 laps, with everyone (including me) cheering louder and louder each time they pass. After the 9th lap we wandered to the end of the park to watch the end of the race on the big screens. It was great to see Chris Froome win, although I was a bit disappointed to see Mark Cavendish pipped at the post.
The rest of our stay in Paris was more sightseeing, shopping, eating and drinking and even in 5 days I don’t think we saw it all! And, I am now a cycling convert! I can’t wait to watch Le Tour de France in Yorkshire next year, and we’re already sorting out where to go and see it. And it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the beginning and the end – so Paris we’ll be back!
Jacquie’s Top 5 tips for watching Le Tour de France
- Get organised with water, food etc before you get near the centre of Paris
- Best view is from the TuileriesGardens or along Palais des Tuileries
- Best atmosphere on Rue de Rivoli
- Take a hat – it was hot!
- Don’t forget your flag so you can spot yourself on the TV
Did you catch the Tour de France in Paris? Perhaps you fancy a Eurostar break to Paris and after some more ideas for your trip? Comment in the box below – we’d love to hear from you!