I recently came across this article because of a friend’s friend’s Facebook feed, and I’m glad I did. The concept of a bike trail running continuously between London and Paris is amazing, isn’t it?
Called the Avenue Verte, it already includes views like this in the finished sections:
Here’s how the writer described the French side:
Towards Paris, you travel for a number of miles along the wooded banks of the Seine, long stretches of which look as though they have changed little since Monet and Renoir captured the green-tinged reflections of the water more than a century ago. Then, after a stretch of industrial hinterland, the route follows canal towpaths to within a stone’s throw of its end-point – Notre Dame cathedral.
More on the British side after the jump.
He also calls out his fellow Brits for not rising to the challenge of converting their side:
The French have converted the railways into broad, hard-surfaced tracks, suitable for rollerbladers and wheelchairs as well as cyclists. They have also kept control of vegetation around the path, so that for the most part the surrounding countryside can be seen and enjoyed.
On the British side the paths are so overgrown that they resemble tunnels, providing barely a glimpse of the world outside. Mile after mile, this becomes monotonous.
One of my favorite things about Europe is how their leaders are willing to invest in plans like these. They might seem far-fetched and expensive, but they will benefit generations, never mind tourists.
Infrastructure = heaven.