I admit that I have a problem. I did force myself to walk the first 10 km of that though. The day really felt like two days.
I woke up around 7:30, and got an early start towards Poissy. I was anxious to arrive at my destination, but I still enjoyed the run. 34.7 km to the Villa Savoye, almost half of which was on narrow dirt trails or along the side of a river. I arrived at the Villa Savoye around noon, under a blue sky, warm sun and scattered cumulus clouds: a perfect day to see the house. For those who don't know, the Villa Savoye (another Art Hum favorite) was made by Le Corbusier, and is probably the most famous house among architecture students today. I won't go into all the reasons why...but I was pretty excited to see it. I spent about 5 hours wandering about the house, turning off and on faucets and opening and closing doors. The little details can never be made out in photos, and despite the fact that many elements are not in their original state, I was pretty surprised by their poor quality. It quickly became apparent that even the great masters of architecture aren't quite as perfect as one would think. When an aspiring young designer makes a flaw, or some elements that just don't perfectly come together, it is easy to think "man, Le Corbusier would never do that." I was pleased (but mainly saddened) to see that in fact, Le Corbusier would do that, and he would also probably make it leak and fall apart in 20 years. Overall an amazing building/machine for living, and I certainly enjoyed living in it for a few hours on a sunny day. Also, I can now say that I peed in a Le Corbusier building. Twice.
I headed back into town, where I wandered around for a while, trying to make a place to stay happen. No dice, but I did find a little distillery where I got to try some local almond liquer.
Around 8 pm I called my friend Chris, who is staying in Paris to get his address for the next day. When I put it into my phone, I saw that it was in the northwest of the city...and in turn was much closer to me. For some reason, 24 km seemed like pocket change to me, so I decided to just head on into the city, instead of potentially sleeping in a ditch and then doing so. Run number two was awesome. Despite the probable negative effects of doing around 60 km in a day, I am glad I did it this way. Running into Paris at night was amazing. First, I came to the top of a staircase and saw the entire city, 20 km or so away. After some more excited running, I caught my first view of La Defense. I ran through the center of the building, and came to a bridge where I saw, down a long straight length of road, the Arc du Triomph. Moments later I was marvelling at the Eiffel tower. To see these things lit up at night was amazing. I was in Paris! I ran here! It was a pretty great feeling.
I met Chris "aux Champs Elysées" where I had some pasta and ate and drank baskets worth of free stale bread and caraffs of water. I slept like a rock. I think I'll hang out here for a couple days and get my legs back under me.
18 June 2009