March 31, 2012


“The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother.”
Napoleaon Bonaparte

Little did I know what we were letting ourselves in for when my new found explorer friend and I decided to sign up for a bike tour through Paris. It was a day off school for our boys, so we had decided to get them out of the house and into some excercise.

We were welcomed by a most unconventional Scottish lad from Fort William (this puts a whole new meaning to remote, I thought Stornaway was off the beaten track) who was to be our tourguide.

We met at the bottom of the Eiffel Tour which left me wondering where are all the bikes might be hidden? Indeed, after a short historic introduction about the Tour Eiffel, the Trocadero and l'Ecole Militaire we walked down the Champs de Mars to their base to fetch the fat tired bikes.

We had been told how to behave on the road, how to respond to the Parisian drivers and how to handle the French traffic. Basically the message was: "Stick to the herd and dooooooominate the traffic¨" And dominate we did. We drove off full of excitement and giggles to be lead though this monumental city by a mad Scottsman screaming "Dominate" his fist waiving in the air. It was brilliant.

Ever heard of Californian beach combers? Well, to me it sounded like a chaise long on wheels and I wasn't far off. I felt like riding a throne on wheels. But on this splendid sunny springday it felt simply grand to be cycling down the Champs de Mars past the Ecole Militaire and Les Invalides. We peeked into Rodin Gardens and crossed the Pont d'Alexandre.

We learnt a bit about Le Grand Palais and Le Petit Palais and then crossed la Place de la Concorde (Think: Dominate!). Arriving at the Tuileries Gardens we pushed our bikes through the grounds. Yes, all the tourists were wondering the same thing: why aren't we riding our bikes through the gardens? The Tuileries are UNESCO World Heritage and therefore need to be respected as such.

We could not have chosen a more perfect day to set off with our boys who ended up actually quite enjoying their (Dominate) adventure - eventhough it involved their mums! I actually met another mum who had made her teenage son rise at dawn to come all the way from London to Paris for the day in order to get him away from the playstation! This women has just become my new inspiration! ;) I wonder if my son would fancy a day trip to London? I'm sure I can tempt him if it involves football ... or a Fat Tire Bike Tour!

We topped our magical Parisian spring ride (accompanied by some hay-fever) in a lovely garden bistro at the Tuileries surrounded by tiny green buds on the trees, daffodils and tulips blooming around us and the chance to laze in the sun, sipping a coffee or something stronger.

Tapadh leat and Thank you Braveheart for the delightful tour!

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