Photo Tour: Climbing the Eiffel Tower
On a recent trip to Paris, I finally crossed an important item off my travel to-do list: I climbed the Eiffel Tower.
The tower, arguably Paris’ most famous landmark, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair. For the past century, visitors to Paris have lined up (and lined up…and lined up…) to get a chance to climb or ride an escalator to the top of the 1,000-foot structure. As for many attractions in the French capital, there are legendarily long waits to get tickets and to go up. I first visited Paris in the early 2000s, but never got a chance to climb the tower because the lines were too long.
Ten years later, the lines are still lengthy. We waited about 45 minutes in the queue for the elevator and only advanced about 15 feet. After a bit of scouting, I realized that the line for taking the stairs was much shorter–we only had to wait about 15 minutes.
Though we were tired from walking around all day, it was nice to climb the stairs for a few reasons.
1. The elevators are crowded. They pack a lot of people into the elevator, and then you have to wait in line all over again to get back on the elevator to go up to another viewing platform or to come back down.
2. You get a nice breeze. It was a hot day, and it was nice to finally get some air!
3. We had plenty of time to admire the structure. I really like to take my time visiting a site like this, and walking up the stairs meant we could stop whenever we wanted to
catch our breath admire the architecture and the view. People who took the elevator may have felt more rushed, because they were always in the middle of the crowd.
4. We got lots of different vistas. It’s a different perspective to see the city below from the staircase than it is from the viewing platforms.
5. We could read the interpretative signs. OK, maybe not a truly compelling reason to go up by the stairs rather than by the elevator, but it was nice to be reminded about the other famous structures Gustav Eiffel had a hand in. Last year, for example, I also visited the Statue of Liberty in New York.
While climbing, we also got to appreciate how tall the structure really is. And, in case you don’t want to count the steps yourself, the stairs are helpfully numbered.
Now, some views:
Have you taken an interesting trip lately and would like to share your photos? Get in touch with Beth!