Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad


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In August of 2014, one of my company colleagues told me about a Saturday running group that meets in Bois de Boulogne.  A week or two later I met the group at the appointed time and place.  My colleague wasn’t there, but no matter…  We took off about 9h30, winding around the park, then surprise! we’re on a footbridge over a big river (uh, the Seine?). Then residential streets for a bit, and BAM! a new park, hillier than the Bois. Finally, winded, a pause at a high point with killer view.  Wheezing, I asked (in English) where we were. Answer sounded like “Sahn Kloo”.  Sans Clue?  Clueless?  Oh yeah, “clou” is French for “nail!”  So… “nail free!”  Or not.  Clueless felt about right.

After 10 miles, we wound up back where started and I got a lift home. Google Maps told me that we’d run to Saint Cloud, which in French sounds like “sans clue” to the American.April 17 run mapI’ve worked that route into my regular routine, though I start from our apartment and don’t run quite so far through Parc de St Cloud. The image above is from Runkeeper for a run a couple of weeks ago. Sure, I feel pretty good about the run, starting at the green marker on the right… though I kinda lost steam at the end (red marker near green one). The group meet up point is by the lake between markers 3 and 4 on my route.  Footbridge is by marker 6.  The far point of the run, just past marker 7, is a good view point.  I paused during my run and took the photo below.  zoomed Eiffel and Sacre from St CloudYou’ll recognize the pointy thing on the right, about 3 miles away.  From this angle, our apartment is a mile past Tour Eiffel, and just to the right.  The tiny faint spires silhouetted on the horizon just left of center are the Sacre Coeur, a good “short” running destination (2.5 miles from chez nous).  Below Sacre Coeur is greenery of the Bois de Boulogne.

Oh, and that part on my run, near marker 12, where I charge up the middle of the Seine? It’s actually a long thin man-made island called l’Ile aux Cygnes.  At one end of the island is a “small” replica of the Statue of Liberty, positioned such that she is (supposedly, anyway) facing toward the larger Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.

It seems so familiar now.  I’ve picked up a few clues in the last 2 years… Glad to capture the thoughts and images here, as some of the clues may drift away in the next few years…



Author: curtbeckmann

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