|Blue Bike Tours, their bikes are indeed very blue.|
The wind in my hair, speeding around little street corners, pinging my bell at tourists - Paris on a bike was certainly a tempting idea for a Sunday morning in springtime. Except, bicycles are deathtraps. Whilst I love them, I am not a confident cyclist and still have a lovely scar from my tumble in Pushkar. So, thinking safety in numbers, I signed up with the Blue Bike Tours company for a 'Secrets of Paris' tour.
I can't recommend them enough. Our guide Sonia was as cute as a button, gave me such fab Paris tips and we had a lovely little ride around the Latin Quarter and the Marais. I felt so safe on my bike (who was named Marie Curie) and afterwards I was pretty convinced that Paris is a great city for cycling.
We began at Gare d'Austerlitz then set off along the canal before we stopped on le Pont de l'Archevêché, otherwise known as one of the Love Lock Bridges. I have never added a padlock to one of the three Parisian bridges that lovers grace with their padlocks. I think it's a cute idea however I've also heard that the bridges aren't really build to withstand that kind of weight so... falling into the Seine, not such a cute idea. But it looks cool.
|Le Pont de l'Archevêché and its view onto Notre Dame|
Staying rive gauche, we went to every tourist's favourite bookshop Shakespeare and Company. Now, this shop is awesome; it has little nooks and crannies perfect for reading, typewriters, hidden (and-not-so-hidden) notes and a lovely cat. But it is also very expensive and very touristy so prepare to use your elbows to get to the good bits.
|Shakespeare and Company, complete with Kitty, open piano and writing hideouts|
The tour circles around the Latin Quarter and Sonia gave us lots of brilliant little factoids and stories. We finished in the Marais and walked our bikes through the unusually packed Place des Vosges where the sun-worshippers had flocked. The tours lasts about four hours with lots of stops to take photos and a longer stop midway for a lunch. I was joined by a Welsh couple and a Parisian family of five so with only eight people you don't feel like too much of a peloton. Highly recommended, next step is braving the Vélib...
|Place des Vosges, housed my Parisian, Monsieur Victor Hugo|