Le Mans and Paris

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June 23rd 2014
Published: June 30th 2014
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The plan for the day was to head to Paris with a quick stop at Le Mans. I'd visited there before on a family trip and had good memories of the museum there so was keen to head back. The Herbys graciously agreed to the slight detour and it took a nudge over an hour to get there.

We found a small cafe right next to the main grandstand and museum where we had our morning coffees and croissants before hitting the museum and merch shop. Jo found me a copy of the advertising poster for Le Mans in 1966 when it was won by the kiwi pairing of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon with Denny Hulme finishing second. As usual I was keen to merch up but there were few shirt designs in fat-man size so I had to make do with just the poster.

Admission to the museum was EUR10 each and was worth every cent. The displays included some late 19th century vehicles and even a steam-powered motorcycle and went right through to the Audi Prototypes that are dominating Le Mans in the current era. We spent around an hour there but I could easily have spent longer.

We'd seen a sign for karting on the way into town and found the Alain Prost circuit around five minutes drive from the main grandstand. The website stated that it was open but there was noone on the counter when we arrived. A delivery bloke showed up a few minutes later and told us that they were at lunch. We decided to find a feed ourselves and planned on coming back after lunch for a race.

After further GPS issues (don't know if it was a lousy GPS or lousy navigating), Elin spotted Le Tetre Rouge Cafe on one of the famous Le Mans corners. It wasn't much to look at from the outside but it was full of local workers inside so it looked promising. We paid EUR11.95 for the fixed menu and well and truly got out moneys worth. Jo and I had the beef which was a more than healthy size and came with fries and a salad buffet along with pate and cheeses. To top it off Elin and Jo enjoyed a couple of half carafes of wine for which we were charged EUR0.40 each!

We got back to the kart track at 1330 to be told by the rudest person I have ever met that the karting was closed despite what the literature at the track and the website were stating. Nik put up a good fight but we were clearly going to get nowhere. The doors were open, the karts were out of their garages and everything was ready to run. For whatever reason the lady running the joint was not going to let us have a go and that was that. We'd lost a few hours waiting to have a go and left disappointed.

To top it all off, the delay meant that we hit Paris in rush hour and it took a good three hours to get to our hotel.

Everyone was a little on edge after the longer than expected day and a very average dinner at a pizza place near the hotel didn't help much. I had already gone well off Paris in the day we'd had there the previous week so was not it a great mood.

Nik, Emil and I watched a World Cup game in a small cafe over a few beers and got home around midnight.


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