Having lived in Paris for over eight months now I’ve explored the city by foot, by bike, by car, by metro and by boat and now….. on roller blades! Every Friday night at 10pm it is a local tradition here to put on your skates and embark on a 20km police escorted night tour of the city.
I have been meaning to join in since I arrived here in Paris but I could never find friends who knew how to rollerblade to do it with me so last Friday I decided to go solo! Also, payday isn’t until next week so it was a nice way to do something fun without spending a penny!
So I dusted off my twelve year old skates that I had brought from back home and headed to the starting point. There was a mixture of young and old people, 500 in total, all of whom looked very capable and were showing off their skills while we waited. Now, it has been about 10 years since I had worn a pair of blades so in hindsight I was probably being a bit ambitious but hey, when in Paris!
At 10pm sharp the police sirens started going and we were off. It was very fast! I found the ten year old skater girl inside me again and quickly got into the swing of things. From what I understood if you couldn’t keep up the event organisers would tap you on the shoulder and you would have to stop and go home. As soon as I saw the first person get tapped I was determined to make sure I finished. Around 2-3km in I struck up conversation with a French man next to me who was also by himself and he stayed by my side all the way round, I’m sure if I hadn’t met him I would have dropped up by the halfway point.
The tour took us over bridges, under tunnels, past all the famous landmarks and all the way pedestrians were cheering us along and tourists were taking photos. Some skaters carried large speaker systems or flashing lights so there was always something to distract you from the pain!
Two and a half exhausting hours later I crossed the finishing point happy to have made it and been part of such a fantastic local tradition.