Monument Series – 1: The Electrifying Eiffel Tower

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I’ve always felt a magnetic pull towards ancient architectural magnificence. People say that when you are passionate about something luck favours you too; and I’ve had the good fortune of visiting many a grand structures around the world; purely because of my love for them.

A shot from the garden across the road, opposite the Tower
A shot from the garden across the road, opposite the Tower
Some whose grandeur has helped get them into the Wonders of the World list. This morning I was browsing through some of the pictures that I had clicked during my fantasy journeys to witness some wonderful works of art. I thought it would be apt to share the amazements that I had captured in my camera and share them as a series. I had to pick up my favourite monument to commence the series – the one beauty that makes me skip a thousand beats each time I see it… La Tour Eiffel!

The Eiffel Tower is one of the first wonders that I set my eyes upon. There was a time when I would fly to the United States via Paris just so that I could take a sneak peek at the Eiffel; it enthralled me to that degree. Each time I set foot in the land of romance, it was customary to say ‘Bonjour’ to the Eiffel Tower every day if time would so permit. Such was my affaire de coeur with the ever imposing Tower. The last time I visited Eiffel was in 2012 when I was graduating at INSEAD. I made every effort to click as many pictures possible every time the Eiffel showed up in front of me. Day and night, evening and afternoon, sunny and gloomy days, I didn’t leave any hour of the day.

History of the tower: The 1889 inauguration information
History of the tower: The 1889 inauguration information

I could go into the history of how the iron lattice tower on the Champs de Mars in Paris was erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, and was named after its engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. But since the all-encompassing Wiki would do a better job, I’ll talk about my personal experiences through images. The only thing I regret not having done was to capture the beauty when I travelled in the Metro in Paris. It’s not my fault actually; the moment the Tower appeared I was overwhelmed and totally awestruck. There was no way I could even think of picking up the SLR. That’s what the spectacular Eiffel does to you each time you lay eyes on it. Having taken the metro during the day, the buildings flashed by and the 1,063 feet tall Eiffel suddenly towered in front of me from nowhere. That was an immensely intense feeling. It is the tallest structure in Paris and is one of the most-visited paid monuments of the world.

Sharing her love affair with the Tall, Dark and Handsome Parisian structure - The Eiffel Tower #EiffelTower #Paris Click To Tweet

When I reached it was super crowded, but that didn’t deter me from waiting in the serpentine queue to get the ticket. The aim was to savour each moment; right from climbing the 300 steps to the reach the first floor, another 300 steps to the second floor, to the fantastic journey to the top in one of its nine elevators. There are steps right to the top of the Tower, but it is generally close for the public. It’s almost magical to see the city of Paris not only from the top but from every floor of the Tower. Everyone gets an eyeful, leaving you gasping for more. Spectacular and romantic at the same time, the city is laid in front of you so beautifully, that you feel Paris belongs to you in every form. Not only is the Tower historical but also an artistic culture in itself. The first floor is full of photos of the monuments in Paris. You can enjoy the photos, read about them, as well as see the monuments of Paris from the Tower itself during the day as well as night. If it’s a clear day, the view is remarkable and you can make out every monument by seeing Paris from a different angle. In the night ofcourse, the entire city is lit up and the view is breath-taking. Seeing the Parisian monuments from the Tower was one of my most satisfying and special moments at the Eiffel. Amongst my favourite views are the Champs Elysees all lit up, the Tuileries Gardens, the Opera Garnier, Invalides, Place de la Bastille and the Palais de Chillot. The best view of the Tower by night is from the Trocadero Gardens. The Tower gets lit and starts shimmering and glittering. I was jumping with joy when the fireworks started, it looked so astonishing. Eiffel surely evokes your inner child!

Evening view of Paris all lit up!
Evening view of Paris all lit up!

Everything was near perfect for me, and yet there was something amiss in the evening. A glass of champagne at 58 Tour Eiffel – the restaurant at the Tower, completed the entire experience of that mesmerising day. There were couples enjoying a romantic evening over a delectable dinner, with an extraordinary view of the lights of Paris.

The famous 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant for a romantic evening with your beau
The famous 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant for a romantic evening with your beau

By the time I reached the top of the Tower, I was a little tipsy; not really sure whether it was the champagne, the incredible view from the top or just the Tower swaying with me. My evening ended with some amazing pictures of the shimmering Tower by itself, and then with me by the River Seine with the Tower in the background; albeit a bit away from the Tower so as to capture it in its full glory – lit up and fascinating. If one has the time to spare, a cruise on the Seine in the evening is something to die for. While I didn’t get time to get on to the cruise, I made myself happy by clicking pictures of the evening sky by the river. I also made friends with a lovely Jordanian girl who obliged me by taking a lot of my pictures.

An amorous cruise on the Seine in the evening
An amorous cruise on the Seine in the evening

It is mandatory to buy a souvenir from the gift job on the ground floor, just kidding! But who in her right mind wouldn’t want to take a little bit of the Eiffel back home to reminisce every moment spent with the impressive Tower. You could buy small and big memento Towers from the souvenir shop, or from the hundreds of people selling them on the streets where one usually gets some great deals. If you are the artistic types then perhaps a painting of the Eiffel by the river, especially in pencil sketch is a lovely memento to take with you. There are three such paintings that adorn my house walls. Oh! There’s so much more to express and talk about that last day at the Eiffel Tower, but I will conclude just by saying that I went back home a happy camper, as always. The romance was bountiful enough to last till my next opportunity to say “Salut”…

in the garden close to the Tower, a shot of the first level
in the garden close to the Tower, a shot of the first level

P.S – Hope you enjoy the pictures in the gallery. Please click on the image so it comes up and you can keep clicking on it to go to the next image.

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