Hotel Apollon Montparnasse, Paris
Segway City Tours has perfected the training of Segway novices, and within an hour Deb, Darlene and I were gliding along with a trio of Texan women. As you can imagine, a Segway tour of Paris is more about Segways than about Paris. Our guide, who rode a bicycle, herding us like six odd ducklings, is a studio arts graduate of Southern Methodist University, also in Texas. In front of Napoleon’s tomb, she informed us that just before the French Revolution, “the peasants were spending 80 percent of their money on bread, and the royalty were just drizzling gold everywhere.” Everywhere included the dome of the structure Louis XIV built for his family’s graves, but instead Napoleon is buried there, arranged so that anyone looking at him has to bow. Anyway, Daniele did a good job of keeping everyone safe. She kept her cool when two of the three Texans stumbled off their units, without injury. Deb, a first-time Segway rider, was a natural, as was Darlene, who has some prior experience. Six Segways rolling along single file through Paris is a sight that prompted many video cameras to spring into action. I did a lot of waving to Japanese tourists, who waved back and kept their cameras rolling.