For the next few weeks I'm going to write about our trip to France.
It begins with the Eiffel Tower. When our son was in first grade he saw the movie Ratatouille and began to fall in love with Paris. Based on the movie he convinced a school counselor that he had been to Paris - they had a lovely conversation about what a wonderful city it is! He is now a teenager which is a good age for travel. When I picked our hotel I chose one that was a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel tower and we walked over to have a look on our very first day in Paris. It is impressive - it's not until you are very close or directly under it that you get a good feel for how large and strong it really is.
Naturally we had to go all the way to the top! Sadly, this is more expensive than it used to be or we would have done it twice. . . once during the day and once at night. I really love the Eiffel tower and had great memories from earlier trips. My husband and I had both been
to Paris before, but this was the first trip for our son. Three of the photos are his and the other four are mine.
The Eiffel tower tickets are timed and a bit complex - you can go to the first level, second level or all the way to the top. You can walk to the first and second levels. The security is very tight. We waited in the line for our time slot and went through several checkpoints.
At one of these we had a few panicked moments - my husband couldn't find our tickets. He had them for the earlier ones. . .? Ahh - he had given them to my son who was excited and had forgotten about it! Whew. Several people kindly commented they were glad we found them. We were also glad.
Going up takes several stages and various lines. . . it is a little unnerving. The elevators are packed tight - Europeans pack into spaces more tightly than Americans. I was accustomed to that from Germany, but it's combined with a lot of signs warning about pickpockets and the combination is stressful. But once you get to the top - it doesn't matter! It was chilly, cloudy and windy - which just made it seem wild and open. The view is astounding! All of Paris can be seen. You can pick out your favorite monuments - Les Invalides, the Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame - everything you've read about and seen pictures of is actually there. We stayed at the top for a long time.
Eventually we went down to the second level and got a snack. My son and husband decided to take the stairs down to the first level. There were some interesting exhibits and the views from the lower levels are also quite good, but for me standing at the very top was the best!