On Friday afternoon we ascended to the third floor of the Eiffel Tower, a fairly well known, 324 metre tower on the Champ de Mars. Now before you say that the third floor sounds pretty boring, let me say this: there are only three floors.
So to put it real simple, we went to the top of this thing (see below) and it was pretty cool.
The tower is made of iron and is (or was) able to be dismantled, since it was supposed to be a temporary structure for the 1889 World's Fair. However due to the tower's creator, Alexandre Eiffel, and despite the initial criticism from artists, the tower (obviously) still stands.
While it is no longer the tallest man-made structure in the world after being surpassed in 1930, it is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world.
300 stairs link the ground to the first floor, and 300 more go towards the second.
The taller our buildings, the larger the shadow that is cast. And the Eiffel Tower is pretty tall.
The curving iron didn't give me the greatest confidence in the tower, but, you know, it has been standing for roughly 125 years.
We went straight to the second floor on our tour with "Fat Tire Tours". It was pretty good with some interesting facts about the tower and the city around us. Here's something of the views from the second floor...
But as good as the views from floor number two were, they were even better on the third one. While we had been kept relatively secure in the partly-horizontal, partly-vertical lifts up to the second and first floors, the lift to the third floor pretty much went straight up. On a normal, enclosed lift, ascending to the 276 metre high third floor would be okay, but they didn't want to spoil the view of this lift so the sides were simply windows.
It was quite an experience going that high with a framework of iron around you. But we got there alright, and it was quite a view from the top.
When I took this picture I was focusing on how to frame the buildings and didn't see just how many people were below. Looking at it now though, there were a lot. Oh, and by the way, that black skyscraper is know by Parisians as one of the ugliest buildings in the world. Little wonder why. Also, that structure down the bottom is for Bastille day, to be held on the 14th of July.
The Seine, as seen from the third floor of La tour Eiffel.
It was a very, very, very, long way down.
The lights turned on a little while after sunset, about 10:30 pm., giving the place a different feel. A spotlight on the tower also lit up, glancing around Paris like the eye of Sauron. Or maybe something more romantic.
The gold-domed structure is where Napoleon is buried, while you can see the twin towers of Notre Dame in the distance, lit up and roughly in the middle of this picture.
Although I was too busy to look at the time, we descended the tower around 11:30 and onto the bustling streets of Paris. The place was packed, with people still selling things on the street to passing Parisians and tourists alike. We even passed someone who was doing some kind of gambling, rock under the cup game, before he hurriedly packed up.
We crossed over the Seine towards the Metro station which we would eventually board at a little after twelve. The trains were packed like peak hour in Perth. We must've made it back by one, but I was too tired to check and went straight to bed.
I hope you enjoyed this post about the famous Eiffel Tower and, if you did so, feel free to like and share it. Merci.
We're back off to England tomorrow for a road trip up to Scotland, but I should have one more post up sometime about France, specifically to do with Saturday's trip out of Paris to the war memorial at Villers-Bretonneux along with the surrounding countryside.
P.S. If you missed out on the first part of this post about the Arc de Triomphe, where we went in the morning, click here: http://www.provingsunshine.com/2015/07/12/paris-day-two-part-one-arc-de-triomphe/
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