September 20, 2011

La Tour Eiffel

I know it's a touristy thing to do, but one of the things I've never done while in Paris is to ascend the Eiffel Tower. The conditions for our visit were perfect - warm and sunny, with a slight breeze.

The Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair and has become a global icon for France. Not only is it the tallest building in Paris, it's the world's most visited paid monument in the World. Luckily for us, even though it was a beautiful day, the lines to purchase tickets and access the elevators wasn't too bad. What was bad, however, were my fellow tourists who chose to make bad hygiene decisions that day. 80 degree weather and mosh-pit conditions do not make for a pleasant aroma.

Standing at almost 81 stories high, the tower was once the tallest man-made structure in the world until the Chrysler building in New York City was built in 1930. Apparently the antenna that was added to the Eiffel Tower in 1957 now makes it taller than the Chrysler building. 

As you can imagine, the views from the top are pretty amazing. The tower has three levels for visitors, so we took photos from both the 2nd and 3rd levels.

Although I know that it's a pretty cheesy thing to do, April and I both elected to partake in the "celebratory" flute of champagne at the top for a small fee of 10 Euros. In our defense, it was pretty darn hot outside and we thought "when in Rome".

Since Paris is a fairly flat city, it's easy to identify most of the monuments from the top. I also like how well you can see the circular layout of the city spiraling from the Arc de Triomphe.

You can view more photos taken from La Tour Eiffel here.

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