Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Eiffel Tower!

Mom was the only one who tried to guess what we did first, and it wasn't the Louvre (which is closed on Tuesdays).  We went to that big pointy landmark, the Eiffel Tower.  After lunch at a cafe in which I managed to speak in French to the waiter, we walked down towards the river and got a view of the tower from a little bitty park.

Look, it's us!  I think Lee's gone through the pictures a bit, but most of them haven't been edited at all, so the colors are a little dark on this one I think.

The park had this statue of Athena doing her victory dance (like the Ancient Greek version of the endzone dance in football?) and you know I like to take pictures of statuary.  This is not the last statue you shall see.

I took this one of Lee, trying to prove that crooked pictures can be fun and artsy.  He thinks I just don't wanna take pictures that aren't crooked.  What's funny is now HE is taking crooked pictures.

There's me again!  How do you like that purse?  I got it more for our Italy trip since a lot of the museums and churches won't let you bring backpacks inside, but I thought I'd give it a try while we were in Paris and I really liked it.  I bought it on Amazon.  (Promotional testimony over.)

And I told you that there would be more statues.  I found Athena's shield, the Aegis, with Medusa's face on it.

I didn't even see this until we got home and uploaded all the photos onto the Mac; Lee took it while I was in the restroom (by the way, the public bathrooms at the Eiffel Tower aren't bad.  Better than Notre Dame's.)  I think it's just a cool shot.

And he took this one while I was in the restroom too.  I swear I didn't take that long.  Anyway, on the advice of some friends, we eschewed the very long line to go up the tower in the elevator and instead bought tickets to climb the stairs (Missy would be proud).  It's not for the faint of heart, 'cause it's like over 700 stairs to get from ground level to the second level, but it was a heck of a lot faster than waiting in that long line.  We pretty much bought tickets and immediately started up the stairs.

Here's Lee pretending he's tired at stair #15.

I was gonna take an oh-I'm-so-tired picture at the top but I forgot.  There are three levels in the tower, so we hit the first one and walked all the way around to check out the views.

Hmm, I thought I only picked shots of recognizable Paris landmarks, but I don't see anything I recognize in this one :)

On the left is the Dome Church, which is where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried.

That is the Champ de Mars (Field of Mars), which was once used as a parade ground for officer cadets of the Ecole Militaire.  It's also where the 1889 World's Fair was held, which is why the Eiffel Tower was built there...originally the tower was supposed to be torn down after the fair.

I think that's the Ecole Militaire at the opposite end of the Champ de Mars.

View towards the Palais de Chaillot, built in 1937.

Hey look, it's me again.  I don't remember for sure where we moved up to the second level, but there were more stairs involved in that.  To get from the second to the third level though, you take the elevator ('cause otherwise it would be too many stairs to contemplate).  It's pretty high up there.  Inside the observation deck on the third level, they've got a thing that compares the height of the Eiffel Tower to various other landmarks around the world, like the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Great Pyramid at Giza, etc., which was pretty interesting to see.

Palais de Chaillot from the highest level in the tower.

You can see the Arc de Triomphe in the center; it totally dwarfs everything else around it.

The bridge is Pont Alexandre III with the gold statues on it; if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can also see the Luxor obelisk (forms a triangle with the statues on the bridge).

And there's the Louvre, which is even more massive than you can imagine.  You can just see the pyramid in the courtyard.

Champ de Mars from the top of the tower.

And there's the Statue of Liberty that was in the movie National Treasure 2.

On the way back down, we stopped at the gift shops and displays on the two lower levels; they had a wall of all kinds of stuff with the tower on it and I thought these shoes were pretty funny.  I'd never wear 'em, but they look cool!

I'd made a joke to Lee about King Kong being on top of the Eiffel Tower, and not ten minutes later we saw this, which made me laugh all over again.

After our visit to the tower...we both have a serious case of jelly-legs : )

And one more picture just because.  More Paris pics in a day or two, hope you enjoyed today's post!


CCsMom said...

Wow, these pics look so much better on the computer at home. LOVE the first one -- it's my favorite. I have such good-looking KIDS!!! So glad you had an awesome time. This trip has been fabulous. Can't wait to see more pictures!

CCsMom said...

Oh, Dad told me to tell you to open your package and that there's money in there to entice you. Well, there IS money in there . . . so open your package!!!

Giffysk8s said...

Love the self-portrait in front of the Eiffel Tower and the shot that Lee took of he Eiffel Tower while you were in the ladies room. Such cool perspective on that one, And those shoes are cool! I'd die trying to walk in them, but cool nonetheless. And i'm impressed that you made it up 700 stairs! I think this old grandma will be waiting in the long line instead.