Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer 2011: Paris, France


July 22-23, 2011 -- Paris was the fifth city I visited on my summer trip to Europe after London, Brussels, Berlin and Prague. It was a very brief visit to the City of Light, but with a rented bicycle I covered a lot of ground in one day. And since the Tour de France would wind its way to the finish line along the Champs-Elysees the next day, it was appropriate to tour Paris on a good old-fashioned bicycle.

Like Brussels, Paris' bike sharing system only accepts European Smart Cards with embedded microprocessor chips. That means with my old-style American credit card I could not take advantage of the largest bike sharing system in the world, called Velib. Thankfully, there was a bike shop a few blocks down from Absolute Hostel where I stayed along the Canal Saint-Martin. For ten euros I rented a beat-up old mountain bike which did the job.

I biked down Canal Saint-Martin to Bassin de l'Arsenal to the Seine River and then along the Seine to Île de la Cité and Notre Dame Cathedral and other sights on the natural island where the medieval city was refounded. Then I crossed the Pont du Carrousel bridge to The Louvre Museum and explored the palace grounds before biking back to the hostel near Place de la Republique.

Click here for more observations of Paris on Green Center Blog.

Here are some photographic and video highlights of my brief bike ride around Paris. Click here to see the photo set on Flickr.



Here is video of the Seine River, which runs through the heart of Paris.