We've been interested in the Tour for many years and even spent one summer holiday chasing it around some smaller towns. It is an admittedly funny 'spectator' sport as you wait for long periods of time for about 30 seconds of action! Still, the parade of vehicles and the riders themselves are thrilling to watch whiz by and in the case of the final laps in Paris, you do get to see them 8 different times.
We were very lucky to live about 15 minutes from the area where the riders would be riding so were able to simply walk over to a spot near the Concorde about an hour before the riders hit Paris. It wasn't as crowded as I had expected and we were able to secure a spot very close to the course. Jets flew over head releasing the colors of the France and it was a very festive environment. We even saw some of the floats that come through prior to the riders, a very fun part of watching the tour.
From our perch we could see the riders taking the turn off the Champs-Élysée, around the place Concorde and onto the quai de Tuileries where we were standing. The crowd noise would surge each time the riders appeared and the excitement was short-lived but intense! I was randomly snapping photos with my phone hoping to get a good one and I was able to secure a great photo of Christopher Froome, the winner, in his yellow jersey! Make no mistake, even after all of the tiding these guys had done, they were still peddling at a very rapid speed.
Best off all it was just super fun to be a part of something that is so important to France. And what a shame it would've been to sit in our apartment just a few minutes away and not bother to take in the atmosphere. I was texting with a friend in CA who was watching it on tv! That was pretty fun as she was giving us updates on the riders whereabouts while we waited.
We were nowhere near the podium where the awards were given and it would've been impossible to get there so we scurried home and watched the ceremony on television! All in all, it was indeed a thrilling day, filled with new memories that we will treasure from this season of life in Paris.