Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Iron Lady

We finally got our butts off our sofa and made it up the Eiffel Tower after 3 years of talking about it. While Pépé and I have both been up the Eiffel Tower separately in our previous lives, we have never been up together…until yesterday that is. “How romantic!” I hear you say? Not quite!

I never realised how tolerant visitors to Paris can be. Have you seen those queues for the Eiffel Tower during summer (and winter…all year round in fact!)?? They go for miles and miles (or kilometres and kilometres if you work in metric!).

As we were there during the week on an exceptionally cold evening, there was “hardly” anyone there, that is, the queue actually began within the barriers (there’s a maze of barriers just before the ticket office).

However, it still took us roughly 45 minutes just to buy tickets, another 20 minutes to get in the elevator to get to the 2nd floor and yet another 20-30 minutes to get to the 3rd floor (you have to change elevators at the 2nd floor to get to the 3rd floor ie. another queue!)! We were lucky. Usually, the queue goes for another 4-8 (depending on the time of year!) metres after the start of the barriers

Anyway, after over 1.5 hours of braving the winter cold and the hordes of American tourists (don’t get me wrong, I like Americans and have lots of American friends! And the USA…did I ever tell you that I spent 2 months driving across the USA and Canada way way back when I was still young and carefree? Loved it – though I did gain about 5 kgs from drinking too much root beer! Mmmm root beer…Oops, digressing…) and loud loud Italian teenagers (is it the school holidays over there??), we finally made it up and had our breath knocked out of us by the fabulous views (and the super cold wind).

We live behind the Tour Montparnasse (big tower in the background)

The lovely Seine

Trocadero with La Défense in the distance.

It was seriously worth it. Don’t let the over-6 719 200 (for 2006) tourists a year scare you.

Here’s a couple of tips:
1. I once got there at 8:30AM (way back in ‘97) and there was absolutely no queue! Pépé reckons only super nerdy tourists (ie. me) do that!

2. If you don’t feel like waking up at 7AM, then bring a good book and/or your iPod, as you’re in for a wait!

1 comment:

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Oh la la.. I wish you still lived in France.. I am in Montparnasse frequently! I meet up with my friends at the Starbucks on the Blvd... C'est dommage..