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January 30, 2005

Tour Eiffel - only the brave

invalides.jpgOK, back to the Eiffel Tower. Every tourist to Paris has to ascend the Eiffel Tower so we did too. Even though we were there in the winter, the queues at the lifts at the bottom of each of the pylons were long with people shuffling forward through barriers similar to those used to control queues at the bank. At least it gives you a good chance to see the people around you as they weave to and fro through the system and you can pass time muttering remarks to each other about their clothes and hair does.

Finally, you get to pay your entry fee, move through the security search and enter the first of two lifts that will take you to the top. The first lift moves up the 45 degree slope of the pylon – no big deal, as you watch the lacy steel structure move slowly past you until you reach the first level. Here you can eat at a restaurant (not open today) or buy yourself a souvenir of your bravery. The view is spectacular, Paris laid out at your feet.

The timid can stop here but the bold pay the premium and board the lift that goes up the centre of the tower to the top. I’m no wimp! Bring it on! Of course, no-one mentions that the lift is glass sided and the ground quickly disappears below your tingling toes. I chose to look toward the inside of the lift and carry on an animated conversation with the DH about nothing important.

Unlike the first level, which is open to the elements, the top viewing platform is, thankfully, enclosed so that even the acrophobic can feel some sense of security. Paris looks so ordered and regular from here. All the buildings seem to be of a similar colour and the streets run so straight. This picture shows the Parc du Champs de Mars and way over there, just to the left of the one tall black building, is the area of St Germaine where our hotel nestles.

The really, truly brave can go up a short flight of stairs to another viewing platform which is open to the elements, where Gustave Eiffel had a small parlour for entertaining dignitaries. Yes, I did!

Posted by robynls at January 30, 2005 5:53 PM


Thanks for sharing this pic (and the others)! Also, your 'write-ups' in the entries are wonderful to read!

Posted by: Sunitol at January 31, 2005 7:49 AM

So which dignitaries did you entertain....lol. I'm sure the view was spectacular, and well done on the bravery front that elevator sounded frightening, would have petrified me.

Posted by: Detlef at January 31, 2005 9:19 AM

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