Having recently returned from a week in Berlin it seems quite strange to be writing about a city I visited no less than six months ago. Every time I try to think back to that week in March my mind succumbs to the much more recent memories of Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse,Alexanderplatz and the Reichstag buildings. Luckily, my incessant habit of taking photos has provided me with enough ammo to write a little bit about the week myself, Jamie Walker, Josh Buck, Roger Watkins and Biff spent in the City of Light.
I must start by warning you that if you’re planning to go to Paris, and are above 6”2 in height, (as three of us are) beware that the legroom on the Eurostar will contort your legs to the point where skateboarding is the last thing you can imagine doing. Especially after just half an hour of sleep.
Luckily, the remedy to this can be found relatively easily after stepping out of the Gare du Nord in the form of endless, smooth tarmac streets, an abundance of marble and granite architecture, and that cosmopolitan buzz that’s only found in European cities.
We began the first morning, and each subsequent morning, at Bercy in the company of countless ledges to warm up on and decide where the day would take us. For those not in the know, Bercy is the place with that huge grass bank that the flip team slid down in Sorry!. Seeing the 50ft near vertical slope in real life confirmed my suspicions that that stunt goes alongside Boulala’s twentyseveneightninewhatever stair attempt as one of the gnarliest things in that video!
From Bercy we travelled far and wide through Paris seeking out the spots we’d recently seen Soy Panday kill in Static III. Many of these spots were found in the financial district of Paris; La Defense. Unfortunately a lot had been done to prevent skateboarding in this area but we easily found enough there to keep up amused for a day or two; marble ledges, an assortment of stairs and this bank.
As with all ventures into unknown terrain, some spots were found almost by accident. The best of these was found hidden beneath a bridge that crosses the River Seine, after waiting a good twenty minutes for Biff to get his burger fix.
Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without visiting perhaps Paris’ most famous spot: Palais de Tokyo.
Rife with cracks and holes, the floor of the rest of this pretty little spot has definitely seen better days. What can only be described as a lake had formed on the run-up to the double set meaning Josh had just two pushes for this ollie:
Travelling in March, rain was always a worry. Fortunately we were lucky for the first few days but inevitably the heavens opened and we were forced to do something other than skate. I suggested the Zoo, which was great fun until we let Roger out of our sight for two minutes.
Grainy exposure courtesy of Parisian luggage scanner.
When it did finally dry up, we got back on our boards and headed out to make the most of our last couple of days. Trocadero, Mairie d’Ivry, Les Halles and more, all free of charge due to how ridiculously easy it is to squeeze through the barriers at every station on the Metro system. Walking towards our last train we were joking about the five bottles of red we could buy with the five Euros we had saved by not buying tickets. That was until we spotted the three ticket inspectors handing out fines as generously as if they were handing out flyers for your local dubstep night. We turned to run but it was no use, they’d pre-empted our plan and sandwiched us in. That’s €40 Biff, Buck and Rog will never see again, God knows how Walkies and I got away with it, especially as I had the audacity to take a snap of the incident.
Before we knew it, the week was almost over. We had arrived at our last night in Paris, and how could we have spent it better than visiting the Louvre and bombing the crowded Champs Elyses on the way back to sinking another bottle of lip-rash red wine.
Oh, and if you (like me) have ever wondered what the Eiffel Tower looks like from directly below…
Well now you know.