Tuesday, October 15, 2013

33. Towering it over Paris


My Paris adventure of course has to start with that great Parisian landmark - the Eiffel Tower.


Taking the Metro – two trains from home – into Paris Central - I arrive at the foot of that great monument to 19th century engineering – erected in 1889. I am gob-smacked as I walk out of the underground, turn the corner and there it is !!! … huge and bronze !!! … yes I had always imagined that it would be steel grey – but it is coloured a sexy bronze …
 
The day started out sunny and bright - but by the time I got to the Tower, the sky turned grey and threatening - not the best conditions for photographs ...

 
 
Standing over 300m tall ( about the same height as an 80 storey building ) and situated at the end of parc du Champs de Mars ( a beautiful green park ) it looms as the tallest structure in Paris. Named after the bloke whose company designed and built it, the Tower is a fascinating structure of latticed steel.
 

 
The queue to take the elevator to the top was huge so I opted to walk the more than 600 steps up to the second level – which is just under half way - hoping all the while that my heart would bear the strain of increased pumping. It did and I got there along with several dozen other sight-seers – all of us puffing and panting in a myriad of different languages – but all very excited to walk out onto the observation decks ...
 

 
 
To say the views from half way up are spectacular is an understatement – they are ( to use my fav expression …) extraordinary … there is Paris spread out below – what more can I say … but just beautiful.
 
parc du Champs de Mars
 
Palais de Chailot across the seine

 
Looking down stream ...
 
Thankfully there is a fast food outlet on that level so I stoked the furnace with caffeine, carbs and protein to give me strength to then descend all those steps back down !!! … Suddenly the temperature dropped markedly and the rain came down, but lasting only a short time while I finished my lunch – then down I went.


Lift ascending up to the top ...

 
An interesting observation - the metal on the "up" steps - right side - much more worn than the metal on the down steps ...

Looking up stream ...


 

Napoleon's Tomb

Paris laid out at my feet ...

 
I felt very excited that I can now say that I climbed half way up the Eiffel Tower ...
 
Tomorrow I'll take you someplace less strenuous ...