Saturday, 27 July 2013


By Sanne

Welcome to Paris - the most expensive city I have ever been to!
As with Rome we stayed in a campground just on the outskirts of the city. Despite the traffic being horrendously busy and jam packed when we rode in, with a little bit of lane-splitting we managed to find our exit to get onto the ring road fairly quickly and off to Bois de Boulogne where our campground was and we set up camp right next to the Seine.

Camping wasn't the cheapest, clocking in at 35 euros a night but it was at least cheaper than a hotel room, which we had initially looked for but given up when we found that hotels with private parking in Paris are virtually non-existent. Again, our bikes are the main priority, they have to be safe, everything else comes after. Luckily the metro system in Paris stretches pretty far so the next day we went out exploring the city.
To be honest Mark was never really that pumped about going to Paris, it was purely due to my insistence that we ended up going. I just felt that when will I ever have a chance to go there again, and isn't it just one of the cities that you have to see before you die?

We walked A LOT that day! But we managed to see most of the major attractions: The Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Jardin des Tuileries, Louvre (we didn't go in), the Seine, Notre Dame, Jardin de Luxembourg and of course: the Eiffel Tower. All of these places are really nice and especially the Notre Dame was really beautiful...but at this point in the trip it is like both Mark and I are a bit over big cities. Whenever we're off the bikes for a few days it starts feeling a bit like we're on a separate, different kind of trip. I feel like we're just "regular" tourists. I think for most motorbike travelers the magic is on the open road, not in the cities.

The next day we met up with Jenny, Mark's cousin, who was on holiday from Australia. We both hadn't seen her for 9 years! It was awesome to see her and hang out and we had (expensive) beers under the Eiffel Tower. Jenny, poor girl, had an unfortunate firsthand encounter with the Parisian Man. On her way home on the metro a man actually masturbated in front of her! However shocked she was by this experience, the thing she was most shocked about was that he had been so good-looking!
We went to see Jim Morrison's grave which was a lot smaller and unimposing than I had expected. I had half expected to also find hippies high on LSD dancing around with flowers in their hair, but yet again I was disappointed to just find a few other tourists. Guess I live in the wrong decade.

We couldn't leave Paris without taking the bikes around the Arc de Triomphe roundabout so on the day we left we rode up Champs Elysees, took some photos, braced ourselves and forced ourselves onto the biggest roundabout we have ever been in. It has no lanes but can fit about 8 cars side by side and you give way to traffic coming onto the roundabout! But we managed to get around it without getting caught in it National Lampoon style.

Paris is no doubt a beautiful city with some impressive historic buildings and gardens (the gardens being my favourite part), but somehow we never really managed to get a "feeling" of what this city is really about. I didn't enjoy it as much as Rome or other cities I have been to, and this surprised me a little, as I had always expected it to be amazingly spectacular and the most romantic city in the world. I didn't find that to be the case, but hey, that's just my impression. I'm happy I have now seen it, but I'm not in a hurry to return any time soon.

Our bikes at the Arc de Triomphe

A look up Champs Elysees

 Mark in the Jardin des Tuileries

The Louvre

The Seine

Notre Dame

Jardin de Luxembourg

 The Eiffel Tower

Jim Morrison's grave

Le Moulin Rouge

Sacre Coeur

 Mark and his cousin Jenny looking over Paris from Montmartre

 Me and Jenny with our pimpin' new rides!

 Petit Palais

Appealing to Mark to take us shopping - with no success


Chillin' at the Eiffel


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