One of the great things about running, is that you get to see the places you visit on trips from a different angle, than visiting them in the regular touristy way. You are no longer the tourist that joins the flock to gawk at one single site, while wading through the obligatory groups of street-vendors and other helpful people trying to separate from your belongings. No one can tell you are a tourist - the shirt from any large international (half) marathon says nothing about your nationality. In this way, I try to collect all sorts of international tracks in my GPS logs.
These past couple of days, the Missus, the young padawan and I have been in Paris for a touristy trip. Main goals of this trip was to take in the sights, enjoy the food and further the traveling-skills of our little one. Having done the most obvious spots on days one and two, I went for a run in the morning of day three. In our walks of days one and two, I got to know the streets a bit and based on these scouting missions, online-research and the Missus' invaluable knowledge of the city, I was able to piece together a route.
You need to have a route in mind before you start your 14+ K run in an unknown city and plan to leave the house at 6:00 in the morning, so as to have the rest of the day to explore the city some more.
I left the place we stayed in and ran on the almost empty streets toward Pont de Sully to cross from the north bank to the south, across Ille Saint-Louis. From there, I followed the south-bank towards the Eiffel-tower, passing famous landmarks enjoying the morning-rest and bathing in the morning-sun. Not far after passing the Notre Dame cathedral, the road that is level with the river Seine is reserved for pedestrians - and paved - and becomes ideal for runners. Needless to say, I was not the only one running at that ungodly hour. Just before I would reach the Eiffel-tower, the dedicated pedestrian path ended and I decided to return to our apartment (Continuing my trip would probably end in injury if I unwisely increase my weekly number of K's too quickly.
Only few things taste better after a longish run than a freshly baked croissant and a home-brew cup of coffee.