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Suggestions Needed on Tour de France Sunday in Paris

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DH and I are looking forward to chasing a few stages of the TdF in person this year, after many years of watching it on TV and saying, “We have to go someday!” We were already planning a trip to the UK and Dordogne to celebrate his big 60th birthday this year and discovered that the Tour was passing quite close to our gite, in Bergerac, for both a stage finish and a time trial start the next day. By coincidence, it’s finishing in London on the day we arrive there! So how could we not plan to take in the spectacle of the finale on the Champs d’Elysees?

We’re flying up from Bordeaux early on Sunday morning, into CDG. We have a hotel at the airport since we’re returning to the States early the next morning. We’ll throw our bags there, and be en route to centre ville about 10:00. The race is scheduled to hit the Champs at 5:30 pm, finishing around 7:00.

So what should we do all day until we need to stake out a spot (3:00-ish)? I know, what isn’t there to do, but if we’ve done all the major attractions and museums in many previous visits, what might be off the beaten path a little? What neighborhood would be interesting to stroll around on a Sunday morning, which maybe has a market and/or a good restaurant for brunch? Is there a scenic place we could relax a bit before we join the throngs in the chaos for many hours? I think we’re going to try for a spot to watch the race closer to the Seine near the Louvre (I’ve been on the Champs for Bastille Day and couldn’t see a thing.) If anyone has a better viewing point, let me know! Then after the race, we’d look for a restaurant for dinner near one of the RER stations before we head back to CDG.

I know it’s going to be a crazy day, but even just a few hours in Paris is always worth the effort, n’est-ce pas?

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