La Tour Eiffel

France, Paris

I visit the Eiffel tower. Stories, photos, and bucket list successes.


Summer 2012

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The Eiffel tower sparkles in one of its on-the-hour displays of splendor

The Eiffel tower sparkles in one of its on-the-hour displays of splendor

Climbing to the top of The Eiffel Tower was the number one thing I wanted to do when coming to Spain and France. And that’s on top of a very long list.

For our entire stay in Paris, we had been seeing the Eiffel tower from every angle imaginable.

Eiffel tower from a bridge over La Seine

Eiffel tower from a bridge over La Seine

Our first glimpses of the tall protruding point was from the courtyard of The Louvre, and the very sight of even a distant piece of the structure sent my heart all a flutter.

The Eiffel Tower from the Lourve

The Eiffel Tower from the Lourve

You would think that, after seeing probably hundreds of different views of the tower, I would start to be less impressed. Not the case. Not the case in the slightest.

The Eiffel Tower hides within the cityscape

The Eiffel Tower hides within the cityscape

We had also seen the tower from a sunset boat ride on La Seine.

La Siene view

La Siene and the Eiffel Tower

Every time I looked up to suddenly see the tower before me, I gasped. I couldn’t control it. No pictures could ever do the tower justice. All pictures that I’ve seen or took just look chunky or scrawny or matte. None of the pictures capture the tower’s grace or airiness.

Eiffel tower from La Siene

Eiffel tower seen  from La Seine river

The best way that I have thought to describe the tower is: Imagine if you could weave iron into lace.The tower really did look like it was put together with silver-grey doilies. A fishnet stocking fit for a giantess.

At one point, we stopped at a vista point, Courtyard Paris la Defense west, to take pictures of the tower.

In front of the Eiffel Tower

In front of the Eiffel Tower

There, I got to witness the aftermath of a wedding.

Bride and Groom at the Eiffel Tower

Bride and Groom at the Eiffel Tower

Here, I also captured one of my all time favorite photographs:

Eiffel Tower Framed by Dandelions

Eiffel Tower Framed by Dandelions

Here is the same courtyard viewed from the top of the tower:

Eiffel tower view

Eiffel tower view of Paris la Defense west

Time and time again, I laid eyes on the feathery monument. Time and time again, it took my breath away.

Finally, on our last night in Paris, our last night in Europe, we set out to climb to the very top.

Underneath the tower

Underneath the tower

From beneath the tower

From beneath the tower

We lined up beneath the tower, the magnificent lattice of shadow and metal hanging above us like some convoluted umbrella.

The Carousel underneath the Eiffel tower

The Carousel underneath the Eiffel tower

It was fun to watch the other tourists excitedly wait in the line winding towards the first steps. The carousel lit up as the sun began to set. We waited for it to get dark enough so that The Eiffel Tower would start its first set of twinkling lights. Every single light-twinkle performance that we saw in Paris made me squeal.

After a few minutes in line, we finally began to make the climb. Eventually, the lights turned on, and we were washed in golden light. The white lightbulbs flashed on and off all around us, and the perspective was amazing.

Looking down from within the Eiffel tower

Looking down from within the Eiffel tower

Heights are not a fear of mine, and so I was full of energy and excitement the whole way up.

Making the 704 steps up to the top of the tower

Making the 704 steps up to the top of the tower

Others were not so fortunate. Some of my friends began to shake the higher we went. A few tears were hastily wiped away. Panic slowly set in, but everyone pushed on.

From halfway up the Eiffel Tower

From halfway up the Eiffel Tower

Higher and higher we climbed, with metal netting surrounding us, bathed in golden light.

It got darker and darker, and the lights of the city began to turn on, turning Paris into a starry sky.

Parisian views from the Eiffel tower.

Parisian views from the Eiffel tower.

Champ de Mars and a Parisian skyline from the Eiffel tower

Champ de Mars and a Parisian skyline from the Eiffel tower

I don’t understand how there are photographs on the internet that show the park in front of the Eiffel tower completely devoid of people. Just one of those mysteries I’m too lazy to look up.

Eventually, we made it to the top. All of us, even those who were shaky. I have infinite respect for those who conquored their fears, and no respect for those who decided to skip the tower because their “feet hurt after walking” (the same two people who skipped all of their prepayed meals to get burger king, and the same two people who skipped the river boat ride because they didn’t feel like it).

The views at the top were worth every step. To see a virtual 360º tour, you can go here. Make sure to zoom out all the way.

By this point, it had gotten very dark and difficult to take pictures, but I can assure you that the views were stunning.

View from the top of the Eiffel tower

View from the top of the Eiffel tower

Parisian view from the very top of the Eiffel tower

Parisian view from the very top of the Eiffel tower

This was one of my all time favorite items to cross off my bucket list. I’m so glad that we went at night instead of during a hot day, and I am so glad that I got to experience such an amazing moment that will live with me forever.

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