Monday, July 14, 2008

Tour de France, Mountain Stage



One of the best things about Europe is that you actually have the chance to see the Running of the Bulls and the Tour de France in the same week. And that's what we did.
We drove up to the base of the Col du Tourmalet to check out the parking situation yesterday, and in the process got cut off by a white cow meandering in the fog. But it's safe to say that there's no parking at the top of the mountain and we were in for a hike on race day.

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The hike up wasn't so bad. The most unexpected thing about this experience was the preponderance of camper vans that had parked the day earlier. I mean, we're kind of in the middle of nowhere, but look at all the people:
Because we had to get here early and won't be leaving until late, I brought along some material to study for my Professional Engineer exam. But I got a little light headed from the altitude. Probably could have thought that through a little better.

We also brought along our new video camera, and were still learning how to use it. I ended up not taping the cyclists as they slowly passed by me at the top of the mountain. What I recorded instead was everything before and after they passed, because I thought the indicator meant I was recording, but it meant it was paused.

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Later that evening, we were in a restaurant and heard "Happy Birthday" in four different languages (French, German, Spanish, English) by patrons singing for a little kid.

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