The Tour de France is the world's most famous bike race and, since Andrew is an avid cyclist, we've been following it for years. Needless to say, we were excited to see that we were going to be in Paris for the traditional end to the Tour: many laps up and down the Champs Elysees.
We'd heard it was going to be packed, but it was also amazingly hot, and we didn't really want to stand outside for twelve straight hours, so we took our chances and got there at about 3:30 pm, when we knew the action was going to start at about 6. Somehow we lucked out and ended up in this VIP area where we probably weren't supposed to be, but where the crush up to the fence was only a couple people deep, and that happened to be about 250 meters before the finish line. We even made some friends who let us switch places with them and get right up on the fence for a few of the laps. Needless to say, we're glad we didn't go at 10am!
It was still early enough for us to be sweaty and dirty and gross by the time the race started:
We hung out until the race started, and then watched as the riders flew by for a total of ten laps.
We had plenty of time to take pictures, so we tried some different shutter speeds with our camera (I swear, they really are there in that photo that just looks like blurs!) and even got a video.
When the race was over, we and our new British friends snuck into another area we probably weren't supposed to be in so we could see the medal ceremonies on the podium up close.
And then we wandered around near the team buses and tried to catch a glimpse of some riders. (We did see Chris Froome, the winner, up pretty close, but no one else we knew.) And then we headed straight home to shower, because it was a long, hot day--a heat wave has just hit Paris in earnest, and it was a seriously hot and sweaty--but fun!--day.