So maybe I didn't get the dream peloton photos I had planned, but I got more. I got everything that Paris had to offer on the final day of Le Tour de France.
The crowds started gathering early in anticipation of what was to come and Paris delivered on all front. Except one. Toilets. Barely a loo to be found and it's not just Paris. France in general seems to have a minimalist policy when it comes to toilets.
As time went by (thirteen hours of it for me), people watching provided endless entertainment, amusement and also admiration. I admired the very polite and helpful policemen who spent most of the day giving people directions. I admired the Columbian spectators for their vibrancy, love of life and music (wherever there are Latin Americans, there is a party). I admired those dedicated spectators (mainly English, cheering their winner) who sat in the very hot sun for those thirteen hours, with their flags on the barricade, to keep their prime positions. Unlike many people from all over the world, I chose not to wear my country's flag as a cape, but was proudly Australian on the inside.
And as for those amazing cyclists ......... they are so incredibly fast. They are much faster than I ever anticipated and when they hit the downhill sprint towards the finishing line on the Champs-Elysees, they are just a blur. Thankfully they were a blur eight times as they did their laps which gave me eight opportunities to try and spot Cadel.
It was a 'pinch me' moment watching the podium ceremony on the big screen, standing beneath the Arc de Triomphe ablaze in lights and joining thousands of others in genuine appreciation for the riders and what it takes to even make the start of such a race.
This morning, hot, weary and with tourist burnout, I had to convince myself to get out and see some more sights. As the accordian-playing busker on the train played "As Time Goes By", it was a simple reminder of how blessed I am to have time to watch life go by.