We all know the Bastille, right? Well, now we do.
Since the winter here is nothing compared to the one back home, and since I haven’t exercised properly in a good 4 months, I decided to jump-start my new regime by climbing up past the Bastille onto a mountain that looks like Osgiliath in The Two Towers—wait, too nerdy? Basically that city that Frodo and Sam are taken to where they meet Faramir. Still too nerdy? I’m not sure… this is going to work out; it’s me, not you…
Kidding! I love you guys.
The climb to the Bastille is rigorous and for someone whose legs’s biggest workout for 4 months was on a dance floor, it was almost the death of me. Technically, there was a gentle incline that one could take that would get you up there with little exertion. But since I prize speed over difficulty level, I chose the never-ending stairs. By the time I reached the top, my legs were shaking noodles.
Typically, that would’ve been the end of that. I would’ve paused here to take a breath and then I would’ve taken my sweaty ass back home. But this time, I was going further. I followed the car path—full of cars, by the way, even though I didn’t see any come up—until I was just about in the parking lot (seriously, do they just magically appear??). Choosing what seemed like the most difficult foot-valley to start in, I started hiking. And when I say hiking, I mean I should’ve had some of those sticks that hardcore hikers use to grab hold; I was basically CRAWLING on my hands and knees the whole time up.
Multiple times, particularly after a difficult strip in which I had to use many branches as handholds, I would glance down and wonder if I should call it quits: would I be able to get down or would I have to be rescued, embarrassingly, via helicopter? But I was too close to call it quits and I don’t sweat unless there’s a PRIZE at the end, so I continued.
Finally, I made it to the top. And boy… I totally forgot to enjoy it.
But I did snap some quick iPhone photos so that I could enjoy it in retrospect… which is all that matters these days. [Tangent: Why the iPhone? Well, because after lugging around my photography bag with both lenses in it, I realized that not only did I have maybe one more bar left on the battery, but also that the ONLY SD card that I brought had no more room—and that I never downloaded the photos from its previous use. Brilliant, Michelle]
But wait a minute… there are old people up here! Not like, crazy-tan fit trophy mom old. OLD, OLD. Walking cane old. That means that there was another, easier path! No way did I see any of these people struggle alongside me and no way did that old dude with Parkinson’s and a cane grab onto branches to make it up to this place.
So I walked around a bit to scope things out. A little embarrassed now that I’d already Pocahontas’ed it up earlier today, no matter how fun it was.
And, right there, on the other side of the bushes that I emerged from originally like a wild baboon, was a gentle path down. Of course, it took much longer to get down than to crawl like an animal uphill, but I’m glad I avoided the feeling that I would fall down and break my neck at any moment.
The whole journey took about 3 hours in total, but it was worth it.