Friday, 30 September 2011

The Eiffel Tower

When we had worn ourselves out walking around Paris, we Metro-ed back to Le Regent to collect our bags, and then Metro-ed to our new home base, The Ideal Hotel. It certainly was ideal for our needs at the time!
We showered, napped, Facebooked, and rejuvenated for a couple hours in a quiet room all to ourselves, and then set out to tick a Big One off the sightseeing list!
The view from our hotel window
It was an easy 15 minute walk from our hotel to the Tower. It was so exciting to get our first good look at it from the street, and to see it grow bigger and bigger as we got closer!
Brit points the way
I actually have no idea what I expected of the Tower...I had never really given it much thought, to be honest! Having no expectations has its benefits. I was thoroughly impressed!

To me it seemed huge!
Also impressive were the line ups to get to the top! The tower has 2 floors that are open to the public, the first of which can be reached by 704 stairs. If you aren't feeling up to the stairmaster workout, there are also elevators. We decided to get in line to take the lift to the top, because we figured we'd abused our feet enough for one day.
The tower at dusk
It wasn't until we had been in line for probably a 1/2 hour that we realized we were in the wrong line, and that particular elevator wouldn't take us to the top! (In hindsight, I think we were just confused, and that queue would have been fine after all) With some grumbling and groans, we decided to ditch our place and sprawl out on Mars de Champs for a while. And visit a nearby boulangerie for a pain au chocolat!
So delicious! So authentic! 
As evening began to creep in, we couldn't stop taking pictures! There was always a different angle to try, or new colors of the sunset to catch. Or monkeys who wanted to prove they'd been there.

When the tower lit up, we were so excited! And snapped even more pictures! Sigh...what tourists...

Here's a special treat for you! The grand finale: around 10pm the tower began to sparkle! It was so beautiful!

That sold us...we decided to bite the bullet and ride to the top of the tower, no matter how long we had to wait! While in line it began to rain...and then thunder...and then lightening! We were resolute. We paid the 11.80 EUR, crammed into the lift, and burst out onto the second floor, only to wander back into another line, cram into another lift, and burst out on the top floor!
It was freezing!
We took our look around and tried to snap pictures that weren't blurry (no luck), and ooh-ed and aah-ed at all the buildings we had seen that day that were now lit up, avoided getting caught in other tourist photos of couples kissing. My favorite part was seeing the lightening tear across the clear night sky. The landscape was so flat, and the sky so dark, it was a perfect canvas.
The Seine by night
When we were just about frozen solid, we decided to head back down. The line to the 2nd floor was atrocious, so when we got there we decided to skip the next lift and take the stairs down. Little did we know...the rain had turned this tourist jaunt into a death trap.
Demonstrating how to safely walk down the slick, wet stairs...not.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, despite the cold and long queues. The view was wonderful, and the tower itself is awesome...though I thoroughly recommend visiting it at night for the full effect.

More information about the Eiffiel Tower:


britt. said...

Two funny things about June 4th, 2011:

1. A lady poked me in the belly with her pen because I wouldn't sign her petition. Even got a little blue spot on my white shirt. Who does that?

2. Our German stalker friend.

The walk home at midnight was pretty epic as well. :)

Jill.and.Regis said...

I was totally going to include our German stalker friend!
ps. I think your journal entries were more interesting than mine.

Becks said...

That last picture is amazingly epic!

...and Britt, why didn't you tell me you had a blog?!!!!...I'm going to have a lot of catchup reading to do!

Jill.and.Regis said...

It IS a great pic, isn't it?? I have to give credit to Brit for most of the good photos of our trip, including that one! :)