Monday 16 April 2012

Paris - France

My first running guide is Paris, France.

A city of romance, fine art, spectacular food and stunning architecture.
 And TERRIBLE roads!

One of the worst cities for running; cobbled streets, few sidewalks and insane traffic. My top tip for running in a foreign country is look for water.

Breathtaking views aside, with rivers, lakes and oceans usually comes a strong emphasis on pedestrians, meaning safer, more enjoyable runs. Paris is no different.
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A very wet Notre Dame Cathedral

Only in Paris for one week. My hotel was close to historic Notre Dame so my daily runs were centred around the Seine.

Day 1 - I always like to get my bearings. I set myself a time for my run, in this case, 50 minutes. I simply run wherever I happen to end up for 25 minutes and then turn around.

On the journey back in my footsteps, I try to find a place of interest by looking at signposts etc.

For Day 2 I rather obviously pick out the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

From Notre Dame I head along the North Bank of the Seine, sweeping through the Palace and past the famous Louvre Pyramid.

Over the Pont Royal Bridge, now on the South Bank, with the famous Musee D'Orsay on my left, the route to the Eiffel Tower is approx 7.2km (according to my dodgy Nike+ chip & iPhone combo!).

From there, I simply returned along my route back to my hotel and did this run 3 more times during my stay.

The pyramid of the Louvre houses some of the world's most famous artworks. Shame I went on Tuesday - the day it is closed!

Overall the surface was mainly asphalt and concrete, with typical Paris November rain leading to a few puddles!

This would be my recommendation when visiting Paris. Without doubt one of my favourite runs in western Europe.

PS - If anyone tells you take the Eiffel Tower stairs, DON'T!

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Start - Notre Dame Cathedral
Journey - Head north west past cathedral, right over Pont au Change approx 300 metres from cathedral. Along north bank, through grounds of the Louvre past the Pyramid.  Cross Seine approx 1.1km from Louve, 5.6km to Eiffel Tower. Loop back along route.
Finish - Notre Dame Cathedral

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