I agree with the Parisians of 1889. I think the Eiffel Tower is ugly. There. I said it. I think figurines and drawings of the structure are far more attractive than the building itself. I opine that the Eiffel Tower is over-romanticized since it is such an iconic representation of the city of Paris.
Now that that is off my chest, I do think the story of the Eiffel Tower is interesting, and I did enjoy catching glimpses of it from afar while visiting other sites (like viewing it over the shoulder of The Thinker at the Rodin Museum).
If you don’t know the story of the Eiffel Tower, it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and was only supposed to stand for 20 years. The often overlooked radio antennae saved the tower from its fate when it aided in The Great War.
Fun fact: Le Tour Eiffel is repainted every seven years, the same ugly shade of Eiffel Tower Brown each time.
Anthony and I climbed the approximately 700 stairs to the second level where we took an elevator to the top. Learn from our mistake: If you intend on climbing the tower instead of riding the elevator from the ground to the top, do not do it on your first day in the city. Your legs will hate you the days that follow.
Of all the places we visited, Sacre Coeur seemed to have the most tourist cheese, my favorite of all being those I affectionately dubbed the souvenir hustlers.
The Arc de Triomphe was much larger than I ever imagined. We climbed (another) 300 stairs to enjoy my favorite view of the city. Pompidou, Galleries Layfayette, and Sacre Coeur had beautiful views, sure, but the view from the Arc was breathtaking.
We learned the day before we left that they hold a ceremony at the Arc each evening at 6:30. Next time…
A serendipitous moment at Notre Dame. I guess Parisian birds like their picture taken.
In front of Notre Dame the star, pictured below, marks the geographical center of France.
Behind Notra Dame, on Pont de L’Archeveche, Anthony and I added our love lock to the bridge and tossed the key into the Seine. I ordered an antique style lock before the trip and crudely attempted the stamp the iron with our monogram.
Obviously a lot of people love each other, and many lock are attached to other locks, but I was determined to find a space on the fence for our lock. I got a little weird about not wanting our love somehow being tied to or dependent on someone else’s love. I was also set on having a lock with a key, rather than a combination lock. That’s the point, isn’t it?
Please, share stories of your adventures with me.
Thanks for reading,