Pros:It offers an interesting look on the city of Paris.
Cons:Lines can be long, expensive, can be very windy, and it can be crowded.
The Bottom Line: The Eiffel Tower is a definite must see for anyone touring the city of Paris. Both romantic and historical it should be a stop on any tour.
I can still remember the very first time I set sights on the Eiffel tower. A towering maze-work of steel and light twinkling in the distance like a beacon from my small apartment window. Breathtaking from even the opposite side of the city. So far away, yet it looked so close, I knew in an instant exactly what I was doing that very next morning. I was hopping the Parisian metro and heading directly to climb to the top of that tower. (So, I was a little ambitious in my moment of excitement).
Falling asleep to the bustling sounds of a city that never sleeps, I awoke early as planned and after a harried and slightly confusing trip through the underground of Paris, I finally found myself standing across the street from the historical French landmark. I was there Wading through a sea of people and vendors, I snapped photos like the common tourist, enthusiastically documenting my travels, pausing to study the tours and busloads of people having picnics out on the lawn. An idea for next time, perhaps.
Standing in the center of the large patio I stared upwards at the dizzying maze work of metal. Maybe I wouldnt walk those stairs after all. My knee was not at its best and I had just overheard another group of teens comment on the half hour it took them to reach the first level of the massive structure. That settled that. I quickly hopped into the queue to purchase tickets to the elevator, a small fee of ten euro at the time and after a long, boring wait, up I went.
The wind was frigid and strong up on that first level but the view was unbelievable. From even that first tier that city of Paris was placed out before me, a jigsaw stone and narrow roadways. Maps and viewers along the edges helped point out the different locations and points of interest around the city. To me it was a breath of fresh air, like sitting on top of the world. Unfortunately, a horrible ear ache prevented me from climbing to the top on that particular visit.
A year later I returned to the city with my mother and father, this time, the apartment was just a block from the monument, which I had also discovered by this time was also very walk able from the Cathedral of Notre dame for those whod rather avoid the citys metro systems. Again, like a coward, I backed out of climbing the stairs however, mostly because I knew that neither of my parents would be able to survive a hike quite like that without serious repercussions later. The elevator fee, which had risen slightly from the prior year, was pretty much standard fare for a monument. Like I had done alone the year before, the three of us rode the elevator up to the first level and looked about. It was still windy, but not nearly as cold as it had been that last May. Excitedly, I pointed out all of the sights to my poor parents whilst they snapped photos and wandered about. It was as if I were ten years old all over again, but I was not alone. My father at one point even reminded me of a kid as he encouraged us to move to the next level. There, I explored the shops while the two of them wandered around a while longer. Eventually we settled and grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant and ventured the rest of the way to the top. There, we found an even windier but none less awe-inspiring view of Paris along with a view of Eiffels office complete with eerie life-like wax mannequins of he and Thomas Edison in period clothing. They were so realistic that one could swear they could even see the pores of skin and half expect them to turn and look up at the hundreds of pairs of eyes invading in on their private get together.
As all things come to an end, we hopped the elevator to the mid level, to exchange it for one that would carry us back to the ground. Exploring the gardens around the base and stopping to feed the ducks in the ponds, we headed out into the city, ready for our next adventure.
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Best Suited For: Students
Best Time to Travel Here: Jun - Aug