Monday, December 1, 2014

Le Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)

Blue sky!
I made my second trip to Paris on Saturday with several new friends from school, and our goal was to take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower. The crowds were thick, as this was Black Friday weekend.... while the French don't celebrate Thanksgiving, they DO celebrate Black Friday!

The view from underneath the tower, as we were waiting in line

After waiting in line for nearly an hour, we finally began our ascent.

The views along the way were spectacular, and they continued to change as we went higher. We stopped at the first floor to enjoy the view from all angles.
View from the stairs
A rest at the first floor

From the bottom, I was wondering if the climb would be like The Incline down in Colorado Springs, but it was much easier than that. There are many different numbers out there for how many stairs are in the Eiffel Tower, but it seems to be somewhere between 650-700 steps up to the second floor, which is as high as they'll let you go on foot.  If you want to go all the way to the top, you have to wait in yet another line, and buy another ticket to take the elevator.  We decided the 2nd floor was good enough for us - check out these views:

We made it to the second floor in time to play on the glass-floored deck (it was surprisingly nerve-wracking to step out onto the glass), and then to watch the sunset. 
The sky seemed to be especially beautiful - the sunset was a fluorescent red, but sadly my camera wasn't quite able to capture the fiery brilliance. So, I just enjoyed the moment as the sun set below the horizon.
Look at the hot air balloon!

My first glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe

Once the sun set, it got cold very quickly up there. So, we waited just long enough for the lights to come on, and then headed down. I ran down most of the way, similar to coming down a mountain, it was easier on the knees to go quickly.
The view from the second floor deck

Breathtaking beauty
Another fun trip to Paris, with many great memories!

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