|That macho feel of victory for Rui Costa today|
So I have it taped in the morning (In Caracas I can watch it live in French) and since no one discusses the Tour here, at night I can easily do my elliptical, have a drink, dinner while watching the Tour with all the suspense (the more so that there is rerun season...). And tonight when it was over and I erased it I fell on the All Star game and let me tell you that the contrast was staggering between sports. Sorry, but there is no way I can ever watch more than an inning of baseball... And only if the Red Sox play the pseudo world series. The aesthetic difference between a fat chewing dirty looking player on the backdrop of a brand new stadium simply does not compare with lean active bikers over the Provence country side as a backdrop.....
Because forgive me for what comes next but France is the most beautiful country. At least to stage a road event. Watching the Tour is also about fantasizing about that old stone house you suddenly need to buy to retire (provided the plumbing allows for Venezuelan style bathrooms). In that same fantasy you also envision yourself going for a week end hike to that old watch tower on top of that tall hill; or perhaps walking through the streets of that old village; or maybe organize a sumptuous food basket to have lunch on some remote field above the valley; or maybe just hang around the streets of Gap, today's stage finish line, before the Tour arrives, looking for that tasty little restaurant or that antique shop.
Of course, no matter how good the cameras are you catch on occasion a junk yard, or an abandoned work shop. But 95% of what you see is developed land at the human scale where nature has been blended with life. Not preserved as a museum, a nature where you can actually live. OK, it was already the Provencal Alps which are more sparsely settled, but indulge me :-)
That is France. And they can be arrogant