Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4, Eiffel Tower

Doug's trombone festival started today which means that I have four full days to explore Paris all by myself!  Not that I don't enjoy Doug's company, but I also really like doing things on my own.  This trip has a perfect balance of both companionship and alone time.  I'm looking forward to doing things things that he might not find as interesting as I do.

Other than Doug getting the plane tickets and a hotel lined up, we (I) didn't really start planning our trip until we were on the plane.  Sometimes it's good to wait and get a feel for where you are before planning all of the activities.  We like to wing it.

Since we had just seen the Eiffel Tower the other night, and had gotten some really excellent bird's eye views of Paris from the ferris wheel, Doug decided that we could save money by just having me go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I had to make sure he really didn't care about going before I went online to get my advanced ticket.  After seeing it from the ground, I knew that I really wanted to go up to the top.  I was extremely lucky to be able to get a ticket for the very next day because they are often sold out for weeks ahead of time in the summer.

The metro stop was near the beautiful St. Augustine Church, which I can never seem to pass without taking another photo:

I rode the metro to the Trocadero stop, which as you can see from this picture, is near a big park directly across the river from the Eiffel Tower.  It's a great place to view the tower from a medium distance, and it's fun to approach the tower by walking towards it over that bridge you can see in the bottom of the picture.  Obviously I was already up in the tower when I took this photo.

I think they'll let you walk to the top, but I opted to take the elevators up and walk down.  The Eiffel Tower is an amazing feat of engineering.  These wheels are part of what powers the elevators.

I'm so glad I printed out my ticket and didn't have to stand in that long line.  I think I only had to wait about 15 minutes.

I'm very happy to be so high up in the air!  I'm sort of a height junkie.

Here's a view of the Seine off to the west:

You can see the Arc de Triomphe at the west end of Champs-Elysees below.

Here's the Seine heading off to the east, where the Louvre and the Orsay Museum are located.

The Sacre Coeur sits high up on a hill in the Montmartre section, northeast of the Eiffel tower.

This is a view to the southeast.  I can't remember what that building with the gold dome is, even though I walked by it a few times later in the week.  That'll teach me to postpone blogging about such a fabulous trip.

The Eiffel Tower is a truly amazing structure, which I was able to appreciate even more as I walked down.

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