Navigating the metro in Paris is not hard once you get the hang of it and learn the detour route from the normal route. Luckily French people are a lot nicer than they are made out to be. Though we did have an interesting chat with a shop keeper who thinks French people are kinda snooty. We have not found that.
Anyway, once we figured out where the Eiffel Tower is located by the metro with the detour, off we go. The look on Magpie’s face when we round the corner and there it is. Magpie is in shock and thinks it is much bigger than expected.
It is late afternoon, the plaza/park across the street is packed with people. It is almost a culture shock for us from being in South America for 8 months. We make our way around to stand under the tower and decide, due to incredible line ups, to go up the tower tomorrow morning.
Unfortunately we walk down the Seine towards Notre Dame, which Magpie picks out long before we arrive, as the sun sets. I then realize that it is much later than it would be in Peru. We hussle home to catch some sleep.
We are late getting up due to a late night and jet lag. We get going to the Eiffel Tower and miss the line ups and walk up the whole way. The walk is not that bad and there is history about the Tower and the builder, Eiffel. What people may not know is the design was not Eiffel’s. Two of his engineers within his company created the initial design for the tower which Eiffel did not like. These engineers went to Stephen Sauvestre, an architect within the company who added the decorative arches to the base, the glass walls on the first floor and other embellishments. These modifications were taken back to Eiffel who then decided that it might work. He bought the rights to the patent from the two engineers and architect and put the design forward for the World’s Fair. The idea being that the tower would be torn down after 20 years. The design won and Eiffel earn monies for the twenty years. Unfortunately the 3 men who actually designed the tower have been forgotten. Eiffel only built it.
The tower took over two years to build and many artists protested the construction of the tower as an eye sore and diminishing the beauty of Paris. Once the tower of built most of the people against it changed their minds.
The stats of the tower:
Tallest building in the world from 1889 to 1930, it is 324 m not including the antennae. The height varies 15 cm depending on the temperature. The Chrysler building beat it in 1930 but when the antennea was placed on top the tower once again is taller than the Chrysler building by 5 m.
There are 3 floors and 9 lifts – (elevators), to walk up from the first to second level is over 300 steps, the second to third is over 300 steps and the third level must be seen by lift as the stairs are only used by maintenance.
In order to maintain the tower, 50 – 60 tonnes of paint is used every seven years to keep the tower from rusting.
There are restaurants on the first and second level that we did not partake in, except using their toilet facilities.
I am a little amazed at what some people wear on their feet when they know how much walking they are going to do.
After coming down, we started walking towards Notre Dame Cathedral and found a miniature Eiffel Tower that is red. The sun is setting and you can see the proper Eiffel Tower in the background starting to light up.