Does anyone read the "Living in" series in Design*Sponge? I thought I'd record my running in the style of "Living in" as sneaky way to slip in travel photos. I'd love to write longer things about this trip, but I'm having enough trouble keeping up with my paper journal. I'm also on instagram, if you'd like to follow me there!
Geographically, Caen is basically right near Normandy Beach. The 70th anniversary of D-day happened while we were there. We didn't go to any of the "commemorative events" by the beach, but it was fun to know Obama, Putin, Queen Elizabeth, and other leaders/dignitaries were nearby.
I made the mistake of heading out for a short run before one of our Magic Mountain dinners just as I felt my painkiller wearing off, thinking I would be "fine" for 20-30 minutes. Wrong! (I'm still suffering from my toothache and definitely need a root canal, so I'm never not on some kind of painkiller.) Running along the farms was lovely, but my tooth was throbbing and I could hardly talk. We spotted one of our fellow monastery-dwellers out for a run of his own. He was Italian and spoke French but no English, and later at dinner we talked (through James) about which marathons we'd done, and trying to shave minutes off of our PRs. I mostly nodded and made various gestures to indicate I was following the conversation. His favorite marathon? Berlin.
Caen is very small and many of its buildings were bombed during WW2. The monestary where we stayed had a beautiful garden, where I spent most of my non-work time.
Back in Paris, we attempted a running/sightseeing tour from our apartment in the 10th to the Left Bank. We started at the Canal Saint-Martin, running south toward the Seine. The sidewalks in Paris are exremely narrow (almost too narrow for two people to walk side-by-side) and where they're a bit wider the cafes spill out into the sidewalks. The streets aren't a good alternative: there is a delicate ecology of bikes, scooters, and little cars, and it's not a great idea to throw runners in the mix. By far, I saw many many more runners along the canal and along the Seine -- there is far more space, and it is more relaxing to run along the water than on regular city streets.
Our route took us over the Pont des Arts, which had partially collapsed the day before from the weight of the locks. I wondered why there were so many TV reporters reporting from the bridge! We walked across the bridge and along the other side, browsing the vendors before picking up again and running around in the Jardin de Luxembourg, and then to the Latin Quarter for lunch.
The Paris architecture is lovely and so distinct. All of the buildings are neutral -- none of them are painted. I wonder why?