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From the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame and back

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This Sunday morning I was excited to go for my weekly long run. When I got outside, the sun was out, the temperatures were mild, and the wind was softly blowing. I mapped out my route and thought that my trip to Notre Dame and back would be 13k, but it was only 11k. For that reason, I had to run one more time around the Eiffel Tower to reach my goal.

I started my run in the Champ de Mars and headed toward the Eiffel Tower. Instead of turning left to go past the Eiffel Tower, I crossed the street and went across the Pont d’Iéna. When I reached the other side and saw the Jardins du Trocadéro with the Palais Chaillot at the top of the incline, I turned right and ran along the leaf-covered sidewalk. The trees were covered with yellow leaves that shimmered in the sun. After running past a few bridges, I headed down the ramp toward the water and ran underneath Pont Alexandre III, which leads to the Invalides.

I headed back up the paved ramp to the street and crossed a couple of bridges before passing by the Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries on my left. More people began appearing, walking down the sidewalk when I passed the Louvre. I saw my halfway point, Notre Dame, in the distance and felt that my run was going by rather quickly. All the sights certainly kept me entertained.

I crossed the Pont d’Arcole and ran in the street that led to Notre Dame. I carefully tread on the small cobblestone street in front of the church, avoiding tourists taking photos and admiring the church. I looked up only a few times at the church’s façade and two towers, but smiled each time.

I made it to the street after crossing another small bridge and headed right toward the Eiffel Tower. With an increased amount of people on the sidewalks, it was more difficult to run. Nonetheless, I still looked around and admired my surroundings. I glanced at the books and trinkets being sold at the bouquinistes while I ran by. When the crowds thinned out, I admired the view of the Seine, the Louvre, and the Place de la Concorde.

While I was approaching the Musée d’Orsay, I ran down the voie express rive gauche (Left bank expressway), which is closed to cars on Sundays and open to bicyclists and pedestrians. Runners, skaters, and bicyclists take full advantage of the voie express and it was a nice break from the busy streets above.

I could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance and thought it was closer than it was; it took me about 10 minutes to finally reach it. When I arrived at the Champ de Mars, I was disappointed that I had only run 11k, so I ran one time around the Eiffel Tower to extend my run.

The Champ de Mars was the busiest I’d ever seen it in the morning: tourists heading toward the Eiffel Tower, couples strolling with baby carriages, children playing in the playgrounds, people running or walking for exercise down the long tree-covered paths, dogs playing on the grass, and groups of boys playing soccer.

After I finished, I stood along the gravel path next to the large trees to stretch. I felt the sun on my face and closed my eyes. The past two days have been amazingly beautiful and almost seem more like spring than fall. I thought about my run, where I’d been, what I’d seen, and felt a surge of joy bubble up inside of me. I probably wouldn’t have walked the same route, but I am now thinking that I’d love to run along the river again during the week to change my running route. It’s always a pleasure to see the city because generally my time is limited when I’m here. I see so little of Paris during the week, so I try to take full advantage of my weekends by taking it in by either running or walking around.

 
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