Number of tie wraps: 50 (final count)
Countdown: 8585 miles down, 0 to go. We’re in Paris!
We arrived at our hotel in Paris this afternoon at 2:10, officially ending Leg 1 of the World Auto Tour. Congratulations to Jennifer Quam (who guessed 35 tie wraps) for winning the tie wrap award! I’ll let you sort the prize out with John.
In 1908, the German Protos was the first car to arrive in Paris, but the Thomas was declared the official winner when it came into town four days later on July 30 due to the 30 day penalty assessed to the Protos (15 days for using the train in the U.S. and 15 days for the Thomas to drive to and from Alaska). When the Thomas first entered Paris, George Schuster was almost arrested for not having a headlight, but a bicyclist offered his headlamp. When they couldn’t remove the light from the bicycle, bystanders simply lifted the bicycle into the Thomas between the two front seats and the problem was solved. The Thomas then proceeded to the Grand Hotel for a dinner reception. Click here for the original New York Times article about the Protos arrival in Paris, and click here for the original New York Times article about the Thomas arrival in Paris.
Our arrival into Paris was much less dramatic. We had a short, but wet, drive over from Reims, as you can see from the photo below of a bystander in Paris taking a picture of the Roadster as we passed by. No one was shouting, “Vive le car Americain!” as we passed by as they did for the Thomas in 1908!
Our hotel is very close to the Eiffel Tower, and I even have “une petite” view, as described by the hotel receptionist when I checked into my room.
The rainy weather limited our sightseeing this afternoon to a few views of the tower and the Seine River, but we still have tomorrow! We’re also hoping to get a photo op with the cars and the tower before John, Luke and Leo depart for Leg 2 of the tour and tomorrow evening we have a celebratory dinner at a traditional French restaurant. So stayed tuned for more pictures!
I fly back to Seattle on Tuesday, but I plan to continue blogging about the trip as Luke sends me updates.