After my last two long posts (Viking Way Ultra race report and Harpagan race report) I’m back in the travel section with the capital of France. I tend to visit Paris quite frequently, usually once a month or every two months. Very often my visits are very short with a flight (or the Eurostar from London) out in the morning and back in the evening. This naturally doesn’t allow me to go out for a run. But when I stay in Paris for at least one night I normally try to take advantage of it and go for a run. I have two favourite places in Paris where I’ve run many times already: Bois du Boulogne, which is located in the 16th district so very centrally; and forêt domaniale de Verrières (literally the state forest in Verrières, a commune just south of Paris. There are surely other nice places for running in Paris which I might have the opportunity to explore in the future.
Bois du Boulogne is Paris’s second largest park, created between 1852 and 1858 on the orders of Imperator Napoleon III (Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew). Napoleon III actively participated in the design of the park and, interestingly, allegedly he was inspired by London’s Hyde Park with which he had fallen in love while in London. That’s why you can find ponds and streams in the French park. The detailed history of the park and more interesting facts can be found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bois_de_Boulogne.
Putting aside the history of the park, for me, first and foremost, it’s a beautiful green oasis amid a concrete jungle and an ideal place to run far from the fumes and the hustle and bustle of the great city. On one hand, I actually enjoy visiting cities by running around and across them, so a run along river Seine, underneath the Eiffel Tower, through the Champ de Mars, up Montmartre, around the Louvre and past the Notre Dame Cathedral is something very compelling to me. But given an alternative option such as Bois du Boulogne I don’t hesitate much where to go.
Taking advantage of exceptionally pretty weather on 27th and 28th March 2017 I went out for two runs. On the 27th I did over 8 miles and on the 28th just over 5 miles in order not to get too tired ahead of my approaching start in Viking Way Ultra. Regular visitors to my blog will probably notice the lack of chronology in my postings. The reason for that is just not enough time to write stuff up as much as I would like to, so consequently some material, such as this post, has to wait for a more convenient time to be published.
An interesting fact to finish off with. While in Paris I once told my French colleague that I sent for a run in Bois du Boulogne. To my surprise, he smiled and then started laughing, while later he advised that I should rather not babble about it in public. He kindly explained that this is due to prostitutes who are abundant in the park. To Parisians it is a well-known fact what services can be found in the park, therefore by saying “I went to Bois du Boulougne” I could get smirks or raised eyebrows ?
All the best,