Professional Cycling For the Fans - last day tour 2010
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02-14-10, 09:09 AM
As a birthday gift this year, my wife and kids are sending me away. To Paris, for the last day of the Tour!
I work for an airline, so the flight is cheap and my daughter is married to the son of a high ranking British Rail executive, so the high speed rail is next to nothing. I have a 4 day weekend, so I'm flying to London to meet my daughter, taking the train to Paris the day before the final day of the tour, spending 1 night in Paris and spending the last day watching the race before heading back to London to sleep before leaving Heathrow the next morning so I can get back to work the next day.
Has anyone spent just one day (well, good parts of two) in Paris to watch the last day of the tour?
Anyone have any recommendations so I don't kill myself by trying to do too much?
Would it be best to just walk around the first day and sit at a bistro the second?
02-14-10, 08:14 PM
I have been to Paris twice and both times seen the final stage of the Tour. Paris is impossible to do in 2 days especially since if you want to see the final stage of the Tour, you will have to devote the better part of the day for that. If you are a big fan then it is definitely worth seeing but know that you will have to stand or sit by the barriers from late morning onwards to get a good vantage point for the race. People start lining up around breakfast and by the time the race comes by, the crowd is several people deep. It is hard to see much unless you are right by the barriers. You will see the race go by several times and then the victory lap after.
Be very specific about what you want to see in Paris and cram it into the first day. I would suggest mainly walking around sites like Notre Dame, L'Arc de Triomphe, the Latin Quarter, and taking the subway to get further out like Sacre Cour and the Eiffel Tower. Consider picking up a Rick Steves' Paris book at your local book store for his recommendations (very practical).
Hope this helps.
02-14-10, 08:29 PM
It does. Thanks.
About what time does it all wrap up? I'm taking a late train to London, and think I have time, just wondering, how much.
02-15-10, 10:28 AM
Never watched in Paris - saw the London start, Strasbourg start/finish, and a number of Classics finishes.
Honestly - I'd suggest being somewhere else for the finish. CdE isn't the greatest street in the world (unless you shop for ridiculously priced clothes) on a normal day. I can only imagine what it will be like with a few million lunatics around.
Either find a nice bistro/bar that will show the race on a big screen near the river or mull about near the buses at the finish (throw in a close bar as well).
More fun to see what happens after the race and leave the actual race to the tellie
02-15-10, 11:44 AM
Sounds like a great gift! I would definitely try to catch as much as possible from a cafe, but to see the tour live on the last day is something special! There are way too many people, but that is part of the experience! Have fun!
02-17-10, 09:58 PM
I'm planning on watching the last day also. I am currently in Afghanistan and am taking leave during that time to watch the last stage. I don't know if I will ever have a chance to do so, so I'm taking advantage of my situation. Anyone know of any good hotels in the area to stay at?
02-18-10, 07:03 AM
... gotta take the chance while you have it, right?
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