You need to start your year off right and it’s a good thing I did this bike ride or 2011 would have commenced with a 10-hour drinking marathon at the Great Canadian Pub, followed by an equally long hangover on Jan 2nd.
But all was pure and healthy the morning of January 1st. Shoko had to get back to Nîmes to start school, so we hopped on a couple of Velibs (the name Paris gives to its rental bike scheme) and had a very easy and fast ride to the Gare de Lyon (especially when compared to the 3 different subway lines we took when we arrived the week before).
Above is one of 3 bike stations near Gare de Lyon, and there are hundreds of them around the city. Very handy. I’ll get to the nitty gritty of how it all works in another blog. After dropping Shoko off I got back on another bike and proceded to get lost almost immediately. But at least I was lost on a cycling path.
…I found myself somewhere sort of familiar – Canal Saint Martin.
If you’re in Paris and are in need of an Indian food fix (you’d be surprised how many are), this is the place to go. Crispy dosas, puffy pooris and all the spicy tea you can slurp.
To digest I picked up another bike from the station in front of Gare du Nord and freewheeled down past Montmartre. Um, upper right hand corner…I never really got that close.
This next one is not much of a site, I guess, but one of two cafés made famous by Hemingway and his ‘lost generation’. I doubt any writer would have enough elbow room to do any writing at these places today.
And to complete the circle I dropped the bike (number 3 on the day) back at the station right in front of our friends’ apartment. And thus began an evening (and night and morning) of drunkenness that surely erased any benefits I got from my tour of Paris.
For a mini guide on using the Velib’ system, click here.