The Eiffel Tower

12 Jul

eiffel tower

It sounds kind of crazy, but I didn’t visit Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower until my last week in France. Or at least, I didn’t go up it. It’s hard to miss Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece: you can see the tower from all sorts of random places within Paris. I had an excellent view on my train ride into the city every morning. But every time I went past the Champs de Mars and looked at the long, winding queue, I said, “nah, let’s leave it for next week” up until there was no putting it off.

Unable to postpone this inevitable tourist trap any longer, I went with my cousin and two friends one windy Monday morning. (A good thing too – the next day we heard that the Tower was closed due to a strike. Viva la France.) Summer still hadn’t shown up yet, so we were freezing in line both at ground level, at the observation deck, and even at the tip top. A ticket to the top via elevator is fairly expensive (15 euros, I think?) but ultimately worth it. I mean, you’re standing in line for like two hours, might as well get your money’s worth out of it. And taking the stairs is always a bad idea for things like this.

inside the elevatorThe view from inside the elevator.

It’s kind of fun to see all of Paris laid out in front of you, even if there really isn’t a lot of impressive skyscrapers within the city proper. The only thing that might could is Tour Montparnasse and the Eiffel Tower itself. All the fancy skyscrapers are out in La Defense, and you’ll see why next week. But that means the Paris skyline is kind of ridiculous, just the Eiffel Tower not much else.

eiffel towerA view of the Champs de Mars and then the Tour Montparnasse. Photo by Sasha K.

There was some cultural edification going on as well – on our visit we learned that the Tower is 324 meters tall (81 stories) and was erected for the 1889 World’s Fair. Gustave Eiffel had an apartment/office at the top and any of his descendants are allowed to visit the Tower for free. But mostly, it was standing in lines and going, “hey, do you know what that building is?” or “I think our school is over there-ish”. It was a good experience though, and I’m glad I finally managed to go do it.

me sasha and diana  Diana, me, and Sasha. <3

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