Built in 1889 as a commemoration for the French Revolution, Eiffel Tower (or Tour Eiffel in French) is now an ever popular symbol of France, of light, and of love. It was a good 10-minute walk from the hotel that we were staying at, so we had no other option but to drop our luggage and walk the warm Parisian streets to see her straight away.
I had brought with me high expectations before seeing this engineering marvel. Good friends and acquaintances of mine shared their experiences visiting this icon during their personal travels, building hype in finally seeing this beauty for myself.
And. Here she is. A couple of feet away. Honestly, I wasn’t really blown away.. Well, I blame good old uncle Big Ben back in London because he has set the standards too high! Big Ben always made me feel blessed and in awe of the life I was enjoying (no matter how homesick I am or how many times I see him) because of how stunning he stood, rain or shine, night or day. But Eiffel Tower, I somehow felt… empty? Not the most encouraging word to use in a travel blog to inspire readers, I know… but that was it. She stood high and she stood tall. She’s got loads of metal. And rust I suppose. There were loads of tourists, yes, but that was it…
If you’re heading inside and planning to visit the top of the tower, you will be reminded by staff to be very vigilant with your belongings as pickpockets are known to be rampant within and around the compound. Also, I recommend checking online and booking tickets in advance to skip the long queues. It really is worth doing so as you can not only save on discounted tickets, but also save a good couple of minutes waiting just to see what’s on top. You’ll have the option to ride a lift, or be nice, bold, and proud to use the stairs. After a minute of contemplating, of course we used the lift!
We managed to enjoy the view from the top and see Paris from its highest point. Around this time, Eiffel Tower was starting to sink in to me. From my horrible first impression, she was now becoming more fascinating to me as I walked her platforms and learned about her history. Seeing her on every keychain, mug, poster and pillow for sale… she really does grow on you. At this time, I was reminded that this is THE Eiffel Tower, and I was blessed to finally see her.
Most memorable part was getting stranded on one of her lifts! We were stuck for a good 20-25 minutes inside as the doors were not aligning properly to the exit platform. Tricky part is that it was summer and the lift doesn’t have windows, so just imagine how hot it was for everyone. They even used a tin of water spray to cool everyone down. (We were just lucky to be standing right next to the only air conditioning unit!) They then placed a ladder for us to use and gave us free bottles of water to drink. Cool.
Later that day, I found myself finally being truly mesmerised by her..
Funny how a simple change of location converted me to a big fan! I finally understood why tourists flock towards her and why she comes out on top. And don’t get me started seeing her at night!