Bet On Longchamp

photo: horses at longchamp

The horses and riders, being led to the starting gate.

Email from Cindy Walsh, via the Internet: Monday, 1. June 1999:-

Hello

I emailed you a few weeks back requesting info on betting at Longchamps. Thanks for the reply. My husband and I just returned from a fantastic, albeit short, vacation in Paris.

We did head out to Longchamps and found the experience a lot of fun. I felt that we were the only Americans there, which we enjoyed.

We did take a special bus which was a bit difficult to find, as everyone else was going to the tennis at Roland Garros. We also noticed that trackgoers universally are very similar.

They didn't mind sitting in the 110-degree heat on the bus for a half hour. In the US, I feel that the crowd would have rebelled.

People working at the track couldn't have been nicer to us, even though we spoke very little French and they English. We also figured out that we needed to take the 241 bus back to Auteuil.

I just read in the 'Paris In Sites Newsletter'* about the mini-tornado on Sunday morning. We got caught strolling along the Seine on the Ile Saint-Louis. For one brief moment I thought we were done, but we followed an older French woman and ducked into a doorway where we huddled for about 15 minutes. It truly was an experience.

Later on the way to Charles de Gaulle airport, we got caught in a major mix-up at the RER and in the midst of chaos we had an enjoyable experience going back and forth between stations as directions were changed and having helpful people explain to us what was being said on the loudspeaker. We did manage to make our plane.

We will return as soon as we possibly can and in the meantime will learn some French and continue to keep informed with Paris Metropole.

Perhaps other racing fans visiting France will think it a good idea to go to Longchamp. I can't say enough about the wonderful time we had in Paris.

Cindy Walsh

*You can subscribe to the 'Paris In Sites Newsletter' for free, and get Paris-Info updates automatically every three weeks.

Email letter above: Cindy Walsh©1999

It's a Winner of a Racetrack

photo: crossing finish, longchamp

The winner is always somebody's darling.

Bonjour Cindy -

Paris:- Friday, 4. June 1999:- When I get letters like this one from you, I bet most readers think I write these myself.

I can't prove I don't. But, co-incidently, a couple of days ago another reader wrote to ask about the windmill at Longchamp and about the building that looks like apartments for pigeons.

For some years I used to go to one race a year - the Prix de l'Arc - which is run off in late September or early October. I'm sure I have something available about the windmill and the pigeon house, and I had to look for some photos to go with this. For the windmill and the bird-house, the score is zero for two; but the photos were findable - so here they are.

Some time ago another reader wrote with some background about why so few local race fans go to such a wonderful track - routine races used to draw more custom than the big prize Prix de l'Arc does today.

I don't remember what the reasons were, or are. If you are a racing fan and you are in Paris, a visit to Longchamp on a race day is certainly worth it - if only for the fact it is in the Bois de Boulogne, the track is turf, trees are on the horizon - and it is just a good, calm place to be.

signature, regards, ric

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