Tour de France

Sunday, July 28, was the final stage, stage 21, of the 2019 Tour de France. As always, the final stage finishes in Paris with a loop or two down the Champs-Élysées and around the Arc de Triomphe. This year the 120+ km route came from the southwest and into Paris near Boulogne. Then by the Seine, past the Eiffel Tower, past Invalides, into the 5th to St Michel, over to Pont Neuf, across the Seine, through the Louvre right by the Pyramid, to Concorde, and then the finishing laps.

I started out by walking from my apartment towards Pont Neuf. This took me right by Hôtel de Ville.

Yes, that is beach volleyball on the parvis of the Hôtel de Ville.

They used 10 cm x 10 cm beams stacked two high to be able to bring in 20 cm of sand. They made four courts. It was late on Sunday afternoon and all courts were in use. Some people were pretty good. Some were playing the two vs. two style of beach volleyball. Some was just a pickup game.

I got to Pont Neuf and worked my way over to the west side to put the setting sun at my back. I had arrived with almost two hours before the first riders were expected. Lots of time to be standing in the sun. Some of the “caravan” dribbled by. These are the support cars and vans. They were heading to the finish to set up.

By and by, an “official” cadeau (gift) truck came by. They had a speaker blaring their pitch for souvenirs: caps, umbrellas, bracelets, etc. As you can see, the price was 10€.

This picture also shows the people lined up against the barrier. It got more crowded, but not much more than one deep shoulder to shoulder at the barrier. I expect it was much more crowded on the Champs-Élysées.

Finally the riders came. There was no way-in-the-front leader, just the peloton. So, they arrived quickly, passed quickly, and were gone quickly. That was that! Below are a set of pictures in a row showing the peloton passing.

I walked over to St Michel to get my favorite super-cheap meal: a gyro dinner on one of the small back streets of St Michel. For 9€ you can get a plate of gyro, lettuce, tomato, frites, tzatziki, a pita and a drink.

My further path back went by Notre Dame. Still very much a work in progress, more around it has been opened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *