Thursday, June 19, 2014

European Adventure: Day 4

I can't believe it's Thursday already. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised since Monday was a total write off. We didn't get to the apartment we're renting until almost 8:00 pm on Monday night. Getting out of Charles de Gaulle airport with our bike boxes was a gong show. We landed in terminal 3 and had to make our way over to Terminal 2 to get the rental car. Of course there was no signage, we had to keep asking people for directions. An hour and a half later we made it out. Thankfully both of us managed to sleep on the plane for a few hours so we weren't totally useless.

The drive to Luxembourg ended up being 4 hours. It was 4 hours of driving through some beautiful countryside. I nodded off a few times despite my promise to stay awake. We made it to our apartment just before 8pm and had to get in touch with the owners housekeeper. She only spoke French and German so our conversation was quite entertaining. I at least understand French so I was able to communicate in broken French / English with her. The apartment we're in is huge even by Canadian standards. It's so different than the place we stayed in when we were in Zurich. We can walk into the Clausen district where all the restaurants and bars are and, if we're up for a bit of a workout, we can walk to downtown Luxembourg city. It's only 3 km from the apartment but it's 3 very hilly km. There's one hill by the apartment that is listed as having a 12% grade. We walked up it on our first night here and decided we weren't going to do that again, haha.

We are 17km away from the race start though. When we booked this place I didn't think anything of it but now I feel like it would have been more convenient to be closer to the action instead of having to drive in everyday. We did look at a place that was along the bike course but they didn't have as as many amenities (no wifi!) as this place so we didn't bother pursuing it. Hindsight is 20/20. We do have a really nice view though.

We've spent Tuesday checking out Remich, trying to find a bike shop and a grocery store. Neither were easy tasks. We also drove a large part of the bike course. Wow. The roads are stunning. There are a few decent climbs, most notably one that takes you out of Remich. It's a long grinder of a climb. We rode it yesterday. The view along the way up is absolutely gorgeous. We're going to drive the remainder of the course today before registration. There's a course recon ride today that covers 60km but I'm not sure I'm up for riding 60km 2 days before the race. The other thing I noticed in yesterday's ride was the wind. OMG. There is so much wind along the river it's crazy. It's in your face on the way out to the turnaround and then it's at your back for the most part until you start the climb out of Remich. That also means it will be in my face heading back into transition as we follow the river back in from France. The course is very similar to IM Switzerland except the roads seem to be much nicer.

The run is pancake flat and it runs along the river which also means there will be wind. It's 3 loops so I'll be dealing with it in my face several times. Just means I'm going to have to find someone to duck behind, haha.

The swim is what I'm most concerned about obviously. I haven't been able to get in the water here as the river is a busy waterway. There is an obviously strong current in the middle of the river. The river is surprisingly narrower than I had thought. G and I are guessing that it's only about 150-200m across. So I will always be close to shore. According the race's Facebook page, the water temp is currently almost 23 degrees. 24.5 is the cut off for wetsuits. It's been cool at night so I'm really hoping the temps don't rise any more because I don't want to swim 1.9km without a wetsuit. That is my safety blanket. I was planning on trying to get into the water today to see what it's like. I'm sure I'll probably get a lot of werid looks as no one seems to go in the water here. Lots of people just sit on shore and soak up the sun, haha. I'm assuming that we'll see a lot more triathletes in the city today so hopefully there are a few other like minded folks that opt for a little dip.

One thing I've noticed is that you're never too far from any town here, despite what it seems like when you're driving on the highway. This country really is small. Small but beautiful. Definitely a place I'd visit again.




Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home said...

What a fun adventure! Are you getting really excited?

rojublake said...

Luxembourg, you paint the picture well PK. It sounds and looks utterly amazing! So much more to your holiday as well as the race. Glad that you are enjoying your European adventure from all angles. Needless to say, best of luck!!

Christina @ The Athletarian said...

Phaedra!!! It looks so beautiful there! It sounds like your trip is off to an amazing start and I predict it will only get more epic from here on out. Praying you get to wear your wetsuit and have someone BIG to run behind and block all that wind!!

macnic said...

BEAUTIFUL! Looks like you're having an awesome holiday!