The Parisian Charm: Eiffel Tower Part 1
The Parisian charm and visiting the Eiffel Tower- my treasured travel memory
It seems to be extremely difficult to imagine the city of lights without its Iron Lady, as the Parisians have dubbed the Eiffel Tower. Paris has been the city for lovers and lights alike and there is no other monument in the world which combines the both together is such a simplistic manner.
This iron tower stands as a stark difference to the rest of Paris. The city of Paris is the haven for artists, painters, poets, writers, food lovers, perfumers and every one who believes in the idea of pompous elegance. The Eiffel Tower though seems to be neither very elegant or very coquettish. On the contrary it appears out of place and crude in the backdrop of French and Baroque architectural styles. Despite this, we can’t think of Paris without talking about the Eiffel Tower.
It is easy to think of the tower as a very modern sculpture. When was the Eiffel Tower built?
It might go well with the modern architectural styles of keeping things looking crude- display a little brick here and the ventilation pipes there.
Voila! Surprise surprise- the Eiffel Tower hasn’t been around for 25 or 50 or even a 100 years. The Tower was officially completed almost 128 years ago! I think it can safely be regarded as a historical monument!
Won’t you agree that the true feeling of actually having reached Paris doesn’t hit you till you crane your necks up high to get a good look of the Eiffel Tower!
We had reached Gare du Nord, the Eurostar station in Paris that afternoon. Taking a metro to where our hotel was located, we were eager and ready to make our way to the Eiffel Tower.
It was summer so the evening breeze was like a balm to the slightly warm afternoon. As the working Parisians left for home, we headed to Trocadero, as advised by the Concierge at the hotel.
We got of at Trocadero and looked around, the tower always seemed to be everywhere in those Instagram Paris pictures! Walking a few paces we were face to face with la Dame de Fer.
It was still an hour before sunset and we were fast in snapping up pictures. The Trocadero is an area from where you can capture the entire imagine of the Tower. If you go closer it doesn’t fit into your camera frame:)
After a few selfie clicks here and there, we never realised when the sun began to set.
And it is when the sun bid goodbye did the real magic of Paris begin. Soft music began playing somewhere on a loud speaker and couples broke into an impromptu dance. It was like a scene from the movie only it was much better. Just right then, the clock struck the hour and the Eiffel Tower exploded in a bunch of sparking lights! And what a pleasant surprise it was! The twinkling lights on a golden draped Eiffel Tower was a sight for sore eyes.
That moment has been captured in my mind forever, just like that, absolutely perfect.
Watching the tower sparkle and twinkle like the stars had hit the nail on the head- we were officially experiencing the charm of the city of Paris.
Our official tour of the Eiffel Tower began at 9 pm. The summer breeze was rather pleasant as we descended down the stairs from Trocadero to the grass in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Beating the crowds and going through a quick security scanner we were on our way up the lift to the first floor of the Tower.
The lift is very unique, it doesn’t travel vertically but diagonally like a funicular except it’s not one. The first floor of the tower can also be climbed using the stairs but I was too eager to see the view from the top.
There seems to be a gallery here with glass for a floor which can give you the chills looking down 57 meters towards the ground. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to see that:(
However the first floor is nothing compared to the second. The views from the second floor are incredible. The city moves around you like blood pumped through the veins. The noises from down below seemed far away and the dark night sky at the tips of my fingers. The slight breeze brushing my face once again made me marvel at the charm of Paris.
For most people the journey ends here. However you can pay a few more Euros and get the experience to head over to the last floor of the tower, much higher than the second. This is the pinnacle of the tower with just the antenna above.
Some people suggest you should skip the third floor but I say, take the lift and see what the tower sees everyday- a beautiful golden city that is Paris.
The Third floor was previously a laboratory for scientific research however it has recently been converted to an enclosed viewing platform. Placards lining the platform inform visitors of the distance between other monuments and the Eiffel Tower.
After a quick look around here, make sure to take the small flight of stairs that take you a step higher! And this is the reason why you must come to the top- for the best views of Paris.
The beacon of light that is constantly projected from the tower in circular rotation was right above my head. This watching platform is completely open air with a grill to make sure no one tries to act like Iron Man.
Here you can feel the breeze for real. My heart lurched as the Tower swayed in the breeze and it was not my imagination!
The Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Ecole Militaire and the entire city seems to be beneath your feet from up here. It is one of the most sunning sights I will ever see in my life. It is like the view from the aeroplane only that it’s open air! Luckily for me, the views when I visited were clear, the clouds safely tucked above my head.
As luck would have it, when I was at the top, the hour stuck again and the Tower burst into sparkles. This time I was at the summit to enjoy the lights that sparkled around me.
Finally we were ushered out and into the lift to take us back to the second floor. The Eiffel Tower have shut for the day and there was a huge queue waiting for the lift that took passengers down. It took us nearly an hour to get our aching feet back on firm ground. But a smile had been branded on our faces. What an experience it indeed was, better than words.
Thinking about this travel memory, I was surprised to read the story of the Eiffel Tower. It was shocking to know that I had nearly missed this excursion.
And what do I mean by that, maybe I should save that story for another blog post…
Till then, share your experience of your visit to Eiffel Tower or to the city of Paris. Was it like they say in those travel brochures?
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