Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Courtney's Summer of Museums: Arenes de Lutece

Good morning! Well, it was...until I tried to Velib' my way around the city... The Velib' is such a good idea, in concept, and I really do like it. But the problem for me is that I am a New York City gal and I am used to a grid. Take me off the grid and all sorts of "adventures" happen.

The problems today were:
1st bike: flat tire
2nd bike was okay but I got distracted and went down a route I didn't want so had a longer journey than I needed to make. argh.
Then I couldn't figure out where the Velib' station was to drop-off the bike. (Maybe the bus would've been easier?)

After the Arenes de Lutece (more on that later), I waited 7 minutes for a bus trip that was only 3 minutes long and could've walked there in the same time. Then I couldn't find where the next bus station was for the transfer.  And I was right in front of a Velib' station. So... do I dare attempt this for my next journey? I hesitated because the next trip meant going on the Quai, which is a busy street with a lot of city buses, trucks and fast drivers trying to cross Paris. Plus, would I know where my turn was so I could finish the trip on a quieter street? (No)

I decided since I was right in front of a Velib' station I should go for it. The first bike didn't seem right. Back into the gate. Next bike was okay but I crossed the street like a pedestrian and realized I just needed to shoot straight across to get into the right direction. TERROR! Cars were honking at me because a large portion of the street (like much of Paris this summer) is under construction so it was just a one-lane street. I'm sorry but I wasn't going to risk my life just for these cars...but they honked and yelled at me anyway. So of course I yelled back at them as I was clutching the handbars for dear life.

It was not a relaxing journey. I need a GPS I can attach to my bike so I don't have to stop at red lights to look at my iPhone.

The Arenes de Lutece were interesting, albeit a brief. It is a former (1st century) arena ala Greek and Roman era. It was interesting to stand in it and think about the beasts vs. man tournaments held there "back in the day." The arena is still used to this day for various concerts and performances. It was surrounded by a nice neighborhood and a beautiful garden and playground on one side.
Arenes de Lutece

I'm off on two vacation trips for the rest of August but will resume my Museum tours in September!