The Eiffel Tower in Paris was opened in 1889 during the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The construction took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days! 324 meters in height, it was designed by the company of entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, with Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier as head engineers, and Stephen Sauvestre as architect. It is probably one of the most popular icons in the world, and other countries like the US, Japan, China, Czech Republic and Romania created replicas of the tower. It is also the eldest member of the World Federation of Great Towers. Carl & I planned to end our Interrail Adventure in France, basing in Paris, the city of Lights. I reserved traveling to the said city because I always thought of going there with someone I love. So it was a moment to remember to finally be in Paris with my husband. ❤
We didn’t book tours ahead of time, so everything was spontaneous. Carl was there before, so he already had an idea as to how Paris would be, for example, that Paris is HUGE and the attractions pretty far away from each other, but that the subway system is really good! We were not very happy with the accommodation we booked, but it was bearable. Hotel Aviatic is located in the 14th district and has close proximity to metro stations (Mouton Duvernet and Denfert-Rochereau). It is also withing walking distance to the Paris Catacombs.
07:01 AM Breakfast at Hotel Aviatic
Since we did not book the Eiffel tour beforehand, we had to wake up early to be first on the qeueu. At 7am, we were having breakfast in the hotel. The breakfast was fine, but it was weird that I couldn’t choose where to sit (the French lady had to choose it for me).
07:40 AM Metro from Denfert-Rochereau station to Bir-Hakeim station
Yes, the metro system in Paris was very effective! We had to be really careful though, as they drove along really fast. They were also oftentimes crowded. We took the metro from Denfert-Rochereau station, named after a French commander who led the defense at the siege of Belfort in 1870-1871. Because of his courage, he was nicknamed the Lion of Belfort, and so, in the middle of the public square is this statue of a lion (see pic below).
Upon reaching Bir-Hakeim station at 8 AM, we followed Quai Branley towards Allee des Refuzniks park, where visitors were already lining up to the entrance. It was a magical feeling to see the tower personally for the first time. I was filled with excitement, and hope that we would get to be IN the tower, or better ON THE SUMMIT of the tower.
Luckily, after lining up for 1 hour and 15 minutes, we did it! We got two tickets to the summit! Yes, that’s 276 meters above ground! I will not write anymore about how much the tickets cost because they change. All I can say is that visitors can choose to just go to the first floor, the second floor or all the way up to the summit. On the 1st floor is the gift shop and a glassfloor viewing area. On the 2nd floor are more gift shops and telescopes. We also had to change lifts here to get to the top. And of course, the summit, with the exciting ascent and panoramic views!
09:20 AM Taking the lift to the summit of the Eiffel Tower
For some reason, my videos are not uploading, so I’ll just leave links to the videos of the ascent here. It was itself an exhilirating experience!
The views of Paris from the summit were just amazing! I took photos from different angles, and still, I’m not so sure I give justice to the experience. It was really magical and thinking about it now, I feel really blessed to have been up there with Carl. ❤ It was also thrilling to see the shadow of the summit on the ground, knowing that we were on that summit. 😉
And when you’re up there, you just have to capture the moment of kissing your loved one at the kissing spot. ❤ Gustav Eiffel also built a small apartment on the summit, where he received important guests, like Thomas Edison. Their wax figures can be seen from the glass window.
The tower also accommodate experiments, for example, a free-air gauge 300 meters long was installed there in 1891.
09:45 AM Taking the lift down to the 2nd floor
We also stayed a bit on the second floor to check out the views and the souvenir shops.
10:00 AM Back on the ground
So, the whole experience took only about 2 hours, including lining up for tickets. Isn’t it amazing? We then enjoyed some crepes for lunch before taking the Hop on, Hop off bus.
16:30 PM Palais de Chaillot & Jardins du Trocadero
In the afternoon, we went stopped by Palais de Chaillot to catch a glimpse of the tower from the ground. It was so worth it to wait for the person you love before visiting Paris. ❤
Paris is really HUGE! So we opted for the Hop On, Hop Off bus to get around the sites easily and more conveniently. We chose the three day option, and I guess it was worth it! More about that on the next entry. 🙂 #spreadlove