Friday, 11 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Fat Tight Bike Tours'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Fat Tight Bike Tours ~

Fat Tight Bike Tours, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

As quite often happens, I squeezed past a bunch of the loveliest luminous lemons you ever did see as I crossed the Pont Saint-Louis in between the island of the same name and Ile de la Cité, on my way home last night.

These citrus-clad beings were partaking of a 'Fat Tire Bike Tour', if the legend on their leg-powered vehicles was to be trusted.

I was about to move on, when I thought, hey, maybe I could make a photo of this. The reflections on the Seine at night, looking over to Saint-Gervais Saint Protais (yeah, both of 'em, baby) and the Hôtel de Ville, are always a magical recipe, but a little tired photographically unless you can rustle up something special. And good old Fat Tours were the secret ingredient I was looking for.

So crouch down I did, crouched down I was, trying to get just that angle with just that combination of colour and complicity, chewing gum and chutzpah, when I heard a wondrous thing.

Admittedly, it wasn't entirely innocently that I edged up to the group gathered round the young American orator, who was imparting Fat-Tired wisdom to anyone who would stop chomping and listen long enough to benefit from his pearl scattering.

Now I love Paris, and I admit my wildly ambitious life's aim is to uncover every secret, however shady and obscure, this city has to offer up, but I readily acknowledge just how far I am from achieving that particular goal. Nevertheless, I was humbled to hear, dripping from this denim-panted dilettante's tongue as easily as bubblegum saliva a Parisian factoid that had managed to elude my grasp for nearly twenty years, and that regarding one of the city's best-known and most prominent monuments: the Panthéon!

And what was it this Young Turk pretended to teach me, albeit unwittingly, as I skulked around the edges of his audience like a resurrected Ravaillac, jealously waiting to do him in with some dagger-sharp withering witticism?

This is what he said:
"OK guys, you see over there? Check out that massive dome - that's the Panthéon, right? It used to be a church, but then it got used as a place to bury famous French guys. There's a ton of real famous writers and poets in there, and you can see a bunch of cool statues and sarcophaguses and stuff. You should check it out; it's pretty tight."
You can imagine my consternation in realising I had no idea about this characteristic of this venerable building. Even now my hands are trembling as I compulsively Google and Wiki 'Panthéon', 'Paris', 'pretty' and 'tight' and consistently turn up.. nothing.

If any of you dear readers out there can enlighten me about the 'tightening' or otherwise of the Panthéon, and around which date this may have taken place, please please put me out of my misery and tell me what it's all about. I'm dying to know.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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