Eiffel and I

7 Oct

eifel tower postcard

The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel  for the 1889 Exposition Universelle.  It took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to construct. Originally intended to last only 20 years, it was saved, in part, because of the advent of radio and the fact that really tall metal things are a choice way to broadcast radio signals and (later) television signals as well.

Last year, on my first trip to  Paris, I remember the moment my friend lead me from the subway and we rounded a corner and there it was! I actually gasped. It was like coming face to face with a celebrity.

I took the picture at the top of the blog from our vantage point at The Trocedero.  This is where you go if you want to take one of those tourist snapshots with the Eiffel Tower sitting on your head and such.

eifel tower danceFor example,  in this picture, an Asian couple in full wedding attire are being photographed from an angle that will place the Eiffel Tower in the center of the heart they  have formed with their arms.

eifel tower handstand

And here we have some guy doing a handstand,  while his friend snaps a picture that will make it look like the Eiffel Tower is jutting out from between his legs. I know his mother will be so proud.

This was as close as I got to the Eiffel Tower on my first trip to Paris. When I returned to The City of Light this summer, going to the top of the tower was on my must do list.

door with view

Wherever you go in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is seemingly never too far from view. Glance out a window or turn a corner and–whoa, there it is!

neiborhood

See what I mean?

      rodans backyard2

In the garden of the Rodin Museum you can take in The Thinker while the tip of the Eiffel Tower photo bombs the scene.

eifel as seen from arc As unique and special as the Eiffel Tower is, it is not the only place in the city where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. This is the view from the top of the Arc de Triumphe. Oh, look–there’s that tower thingie again!

basillica2   One of the most spectacular views of Paris (and the Eiffel Tower) is from the top of  the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur.

eifel and pigeon You have to pay extra and climb 300 narrow winding steps to get up to this vantage point, but it is definitely worth it.

As you can see, I made a new friend while I was up there.

French pigeons, I discovered, are very much like American pigeons–always bobbing their heads and giving you the eye with that look that says, “Feed me or I will surely poop on you.” Or, as the French pigeons say, “Nourris-moi ou je vais sûrement merde sur vous.” (Hey–Fun Fact: the French word for pigeon is pigeon.)

Having seen the Eiffel Tower from street level and from lofty heights, I continued to circle in closer  and closer to the beloved monument.

eifel and tree

 paris bike bike tour

This is the view from the Parc du Champ de Mars. This park is a great place to spread out a blanket or a table cloth and have a picnic—especially when dusk arrives and the tower lights up.

eiffel lights

One of the things that I love about the Eiffel Tour, is that from some angles and vantage points, it looks almost delicate, like lace.

eifel lace

Of course, the tower is actually quite substantial. It has been standing there for a long time, after all.

eifel light

eifel innards

On July 10, 2013, I finally made my way to the top of  La Tour Eiffel. Not surprising, there is a champagne concession at the top (this is France, after all.)  I shared a toast with my  friends and snapped pictures of the beautiful city below.

049

042

view of paris

Having snapped some great shots of the Eifel Tower from atop  Sacré-Cœur Basilica, it seemed only fitting that I got a shot of the church from atop the Effiel Tower.

view of the basillica from Eifel

Although the tower is now one of the most beloved monuments on the planet, there were many very vocal critics when the structure was first proposed and even after it was constructed.

One of the famous Parisians known for his disdain of La Tour Eiffel was writer Guy de Maupassant. Despite this fact, Monsieur de Maupassant dined at the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant nearly every day. When asked why, he replied that it was the one place in Paris where the Eiffel Tower wasn’t visible.

While I don’t share his negative feelings about the tower, I have to say that Mr. du Maupassant was right about one thing–from atop the Eiffel Tower you can see all of Paris except, of course, the monument that is the universal symbol of the amazing City of Light.  It is almost surprising to take in a panoramic view of Paris without seeing the ubiquitous tower.

Where it is? Oh, wait–I’m standing on it…

Not to worry–once you leave the Eiffel Tower, it will reappear, sometimes when you least expect it.

souveniers

2 Responses to “Eiffel and I”

  1. Michael October 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    I just love this thread!!

  2. marianrhea October 20, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Beautiful blog and amazing pictures! I have yet to go to Paris and you’ve elicited a huge desire in me to do so! Someday!

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