Discovering Louis Vuitton
I was nervous.
Running in Paris sounded terrific while I was still in Reno, but I had serious doubts after weaving through the endless traffic and narrow streets from the airport to our Airbnb.
The crispness of the early morning air stung my cheeks as I walked into the courtyard and made my way to the street.
The Strava heat map I looked at before leaving wasn’t much help. The top result showed what looked like a fun trail run about 50 km outside of Paris. So, I did what I usually do. I made a right and headed toward the rising sun.
Running the first mile was scary. The sidewalks were uneven and constructed of different materials, seemingly on every block. Some were concrete, others asphalt, while a few stretches were pavers, and still, other sections were cobblestones.
I was giving my full attention to the unevenness of the pavement when I nearly ran in front of a bicyclist, who brushed me off as a nuisance. As the sun rose, the streets became busier, with Parisians hustling to work, school, breakfast and wherever else they needed to be shortly after sunrise.
A little more than halfway into my 3-mile jaunt, I emerged onto the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. I stopped abruptly and stared up at the Louis Vuitton flagship store. I’m not a Louis Vuitton guy, but dang, what a cool building.
I continued down the Champs-Élysées for another quarter of a mile, then crossed the street and headed back home. The payoff of the run was approaching the Arc de Triomphe on my way back. Even if I was having trouble breathing by that point, what a fantastic sight.
Another highlight of the run was waiting at a streetlight near a mother with her young twin daughters. I waved at them, and one of the girls turned to her mother and said something that ended with, “Papa!” I figured she thought I looked like her dad. Jackie pointed out later that, most likely, she thought I looked like her grandfather – oof.
I should have waited a few more days before writing this post. I ultimately found terrific trails alongside the Champs-Élysées, on either side of the Seine, and near the Eiffel Tower. However, unless you’re out early in the morning, expect to navigate crowds of tourists and locals.
Now on to Lyon!