Le Tour de France
Nantes Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Oooh exciting, I'm going to see the Tour de France! You know that thing Lance Armstrong is so well know for? Well he's retired now, but what the hell I still want to see it. I might never get a chance again. I have only two days off from work, so it's going to be a quicky trip. Had some trouble at the train station. I bought the tickets online and it turns our there are two train stations in Nogent-le-Rotrou. The bus only arrives at one of them and I bought the ticket that departs from the other. So embarressing! I hate being that foreigner who can't get things right, but oh well what can you do. The teller was nice enough to call a taxi for me. I should of just changed my ticket, but it was too early in the moring to think.
I arrive in Nante, and it's raining. The weather is so strange to me. One minute it's sunny and beautifully and the next it's raining cats and dogs. I walk to the nearest Tourist Info building and get a map and buy a day pass. Free tram and bus for 24 hours was quite usefull. The Tour de France doesn't arrive until the afternoon sometime so I walk around for a while, get a sandwich and coffee, and check in at the hostel. Le Manu I believe is what it is called. Probably one of my least favorite hostels. My roomates were cool and the rooms were clean, but the hallways and bathrooms constantly smelled like piss and vomit. The breakfast was pretty bad too. Coffee and cold stale bread, my favorite. Anyways, not sure when exactly the tour would arrive so I decide to take the tram towards that direction, because I wanted to get a good view. Did I mention I don't like being in crowds?
I happen to get on the first tram that won't take you all the way to the arrival area, so some more walking was in order. I'm kind of in a panic because there are a lot of people walking the same direction as me. Did I miss it? Am I too late? I guess not because there were people situating themselves along the yellow tape seperating the crowd from the bike path. I pick a spot behind some shorter people so I feel pretty proud of myself for finding a great spot. I wait....and wait...find an American to talk to, or she found me I should say. First time I've been able to have a conversation in English for 2 weeks. Felt pretty good, but she leaves so I continue to wait there some more. An hour roles by, more people start showing up, and I now have tall men standing all around me. An hour and a half into it and my legs are starting to cramp, and I'm feeling a bit clostrophobic (sorry for any spelling errors). People advertising several different companies and busynesses are handing out water, candy, and cheese which probably kept me from collapsing so thanks promoters! Two hours! Are they every going to arrive?! I'm gunna go crazy! I can't understand anything over the speakers, or from the people crowding around me to see the parade of cars and promoters ride by. People were going crazy for all the free stuff. I mean do you really need that many hats, stickers, and pamphlets? Finally, the parade is over and the bikes should be arriving soon. I guess 45 minutes later is soon. It was kind of exciting seeing all the bikes ride by. I still don't know who one. I needed to get out of there as soon as possible! Too many people for my liking.
Kind of a stressful trip, but it was nice to get away from the tiny town in France where I'm staying. Bought some wine, went to one of the biggest markets I've ever seen, and recieved my first bisou on the tram from a complete stranger, I think he was a bit drunk. Now I can say, I saw the Tour de France, woohoo! Over two hours of waiting, for two minutes of excitement when the bikers arrived.