Edit : This was really a post from a week ago, but lack of decent internet prevented me uploading the video. Now I’m in Copenhagen at a hotel with awesome internet I’ve finally been able to upload it.
Two years ago I did a day bike tour with electric bikes around Paris and it was a totally amazing experience. I was tempted to do the same tour all over again, however when I checked their website I noticed they also did a night tour. I jumped at the chance to do this one and see some of the famous Paris sites by night. As its the middle of summer being outdoors late at night should be fine. As it turned out it was a glorious evening.
The tour start at the Palace Vendôme, a square full of very very expensive jewellery and watch stores. The square contains a column erected by Napoleon the celebrate the French victory at the battle of Austerlitz. Our tour guide, Xavier, is a very nice witty passionate Frenchman who just loved telling us the history of France. We were told how Napoleon was the greatest military strategist who ever lived. I do think Wellington and Nelson would probably dispute that…
Once we had all been introduced and shown the basics of how the bicycle works, we went to an underground car park where the bikes are stored and were fitted with one. My first bike had brakes that didn’t work well so I swapped for a different one. Reminded again that in countries that drive on the right, the brakes on bikes are back to front. Back brake is on the right…
There were a few teenagers on the tour and they were having a ton of fun on the electric bikes. I think some of them would have even just been happy riding around the car park.
Some of the key areas we visited was :-
- The Louvre. We were given some secret tips on how locals avoid the queues to enter
- Cour du Commerce Saint Andre. This street has some fantastic looking restaurants and the oldest coffee house in Paris.
- Pantheon. Cycled by and were given a short lesson on the importance of the building to the French Republic
- The Sein River. Cycling along this was spectacular
- Eiffel Tower. At night this was lit up and amazing. Also throngs of people everywhere.
- Royal Palace Gardens. A wonderful spot to sit by the fountain on a warm day. This history on this place is very interesting. Was the party place in its day.
Here is a video I’ve put together with the included GoPro Quick software. A note on the music for any French people watching (Xavier …?), I know Plastic Bertrand and the song Ca plane pour moi is actually Belgian, however for children of the 70s and 80s this song is quintessentially French for us Anglophiles