Paris, The Eiffel Tower

August 13th, 2013

 

Okay, you all amused me with your guesses as to what I was looking at in the previous post picture.  No one got it right.  I was staring at the Eiffel Tower.  It always grabs my mind and heart with its beauty.  We spent the last four days of our June France trip in Paris.  Four days were not enough to take in all that we wished to do there.  So we tried to concentrate on small pieces of Paris.  There is nothing more romantic than walking along the Seine at night with the glowing silhouette of the Eiffel tower to light the way.

One of the things that we had never done before was actually take the elevator to the top of the tower.  Somehow on our last trip I wanted to spend more time in the cafes, bistros, market streets and small haunts in the Latin Quarter.  This time we played the tourists more.  We got up early the morning after our night on the town and took the Metro to the Eiffel Tower stop.  Even though it was hard to stand in line for an hour and a half, we persevered.  It was well worth it.

 

 The view from the first platform was amazing.  Looking East one can see the Seine winding its way toward the Ile de la Cite.  In the far distance the white beauty of the Sacre-Coeur is visible on its hilltop.

Looking North one can see the Arc de Triomphe and the grand boulevard, Champs-Elysees.


The bridges of the Seine are unique characteristics of Paris.  Each bridge has its own personality.  Viewing them from the top of the Eiffel Tower is a stunning sight.

Gustave Eiffel was an architect and a structural engineer.  He took over the design of the Statue of Liberty, which France gave to the United States, after the original architect died.  Because of this fame he was chosen to build a structure for the World Exposition held in France in 1889.  The fair also commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the French Revolution.  The iron structure that he designed took over two years to complete and employed over 200 men.  There were misgivings about the design from the very beginning and Eiffel ended up financing 80 percent of the cost.  As it turned out he recouped his money in 5 months from the sale of tickets and he continued to profit for the next 20 years as per the agreement with Paris officials.  It was meant to be a temporary structure which suited many Parisians, as they thought it to be a vulgar sight.  But in 1909 when it was to be torn down, it was discovered to be a perfect tower for radio transmissions.  The tower would go on to serve an important part in communications during the First World War.


Gustav Eiffel had an office on the top platform of the tower where he entertained guests such as Thomas Edison.  The above picture shows wax figures of Eiffel and Edison in conversation.

David took the above picture from the top platform with his zoom lens.  Sacre Coeur is eerily beautiful.

On the elevator coming down we marveled at the iron struts and rivets that held the whole structure together.  We were glad that we had taken the time to get a close up view of one of my favorite landmarks.

I have just finished reading Paris by Edward Rutherfurd.  I highly recommend this historical fiction work that gives the history of Paris from the Middle Ages through the Second World War.  It was a fascinating read and the section on the building of the Eiffel Tower was especially interesting.

24 responses to “Paris, The Eiffel Tower”

  1. Susan says:

    Love your photos, Penny. With my insane fear of heights, I will not be able to take that trip up the tower. That is why I so enjoyed sharing your ride. Thanks for telling me about that book. I know I would enjoy reading it.

  2. Sam@MyCarolinaKitchen says:

    What a view and well worth the wait. It’s fun to play tourist now and then.

    Wow, that’s a very young Thomas Edison. His winter home is down the street from us in Florida and I am accustomed to seeing an older gentleman. It’s amazing how much he did in his lifetime. Our lives would certainly be different without him.
    Sam

  3. Karen says:

    Beautiful! A few summers ago, one of my nieces and her boyfriend went to Paris and up, up, up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, where he proposed and gave her a gorgeous ring. Now they’re pregnant and her due date is Valentine’s Day 🙂

  4. Penny@ The Comforts of Home says:

    When we were in Paris, we visited the Eiffel Tower, but did not go up it. We did climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe though. I would love to go back to Paris someday, but Italy is calling us back even stronger. Trying to figure out a way I could spend a month in Italy and then hop over to Paris for an extra few days.
    Hugs,
    Penny

  5. Linda says:

    Penny,

    Love the pictures of Paris atop the Eiffel Tower. All of ours were taken late in the night and now I’m trying to decide which time of day I would recommend to others. I love the area of Lake Lure

  6. Balisha says:

    You brought my high school French class to life.
    Balisha

  7. Cathy at Wives with Knives says:

    We share your love of this amazing structure, Penny. It always gives me goosebumps when I see it. I have only gone up to the second level. Maybe next time I will make it all the way to the top. Beautiful pictures.

    • Penny Klett says:

      Thanks Cathy, I know there is so much to see and do in Paris that choices need to be made. We went to Cafe Vareen which Ina likes and also Le Escargot because it has been there for so long. We are notching up experiences as we go. So much to see and do. It will keep all of us busy for years.

  8. Larry says:

    Great shots of Paris Penny, it sure is huge.

  9. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    Lovely post Penny, I know your whole trip to France this summer was so much fun. Thanks for letting us go along for the “ride”. 🙂

  10. Chris says:

    That is as much of the Eiffel Tower that I ever want to see. I have an extreme fear of heights and sad to say I would not be able to go up the tower. Love looking at your pics thought, it’s quite interesting from an architectural and engineering standpoint.

  11. Vagabonde says:

    I have not been on top the Tour Eiffel in years. While growing up in Paris every time family came from the provinces or my pen pals from other countries we would take them to the top of the tower, then there were not that many tourists and the wait was minimal.
    I copied your last recipe as the sauce looks so yummy. Yesterday we went to an Italian restaurant in
    Buckhead (that is in Atlanta) but I did not like their sauce – it had sugar in it and I could taste it – (too much sugar in everything in this country.)
    Talking about books about France I just ordered today on Amazon (second-hand) a book called “Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasures” by Donald Kladstrup. A friend read it and told me she enjoyed it a lot and learnt much about wine and France during the war.

    • Penny Klett says:

      Thank you for your comment Vagabonde. Hope you like the sausage ragu. I am going to order the Wine and War book. History of that time fascinates me. Thanks for the tip. Hope to hear from you again.

  12. Pam Thurow says:

    Great photos, Penny! The Eiffel Tower is really beautiful, but sadly it was closed when we were there due to “pickpockets,” they said. Would’ve loved it and I’m glad you could enjoy it!

    • Penny Klett says:

      Pam, There were announcements over the load speakers about pickpockets when we were there but we did not encounter any. So sorry that you could not go up. Well worth it.

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