Hiking up the Eiffel Tower
Do you remember seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time? How about other monuments like Big Ben? I have seen the Eiffel Tower in movies so many times that I specifically remember wondering why the sky wasn't pink when I first saw it. One minute we are walking around Paris and the next thing I know the Eiffel Tower was right in front of me, talk about love at first sight! I stopped in my tracks with my mouth open. There it is. There is the famous Eiffel Tower. Your whole life you see it in movies, postcards and magazines, but that moment when you see it in person, face to face, is a moment you will never forget. You can't fully understand how overwhelmingly big it is until you are walking towards it and stand underneath it. Also in photos and movies you can't really tell just how beautiful the iron work on it is. The whole scene of the Eiffel Tower looked like a movie. The surrounding area has long water fountains along with green grassed parked areas. For a moment, before I started trying to get the perfect picture, I just watched and observed the locals and other tourists around the Eiffel Tower. There were people sitting on the lawn in front of the tower with baguettes and wine. Then it really hit me, I am definitely in France.
Later that evening, I had anticipated to ride the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Can I just say how naive that was of me. First off, I didn't realize there were two separate lines to go up. One line was for people like me who would like to ride the elevator. Then there is another line for people like my friend, Jaramey, who wanted to personally hike 700 stairs, up. I'll let you figure out which line was longer. Well the time we got there, the tour to go up the Eiffel Tower was going to stop in three hours and the line to ride the elevator up was a three hour wait. So we decided to climb 700 stairs up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. What an amazing experience that was because while up in the Eiffel Tower the lights came on and the tower started sparking! No wonder they call Paris the "City of Lights", because the lights literally shine for miles. As I stood in the Eiffel Tower, you could hear the crowds outside cheering as the light show started.
You can climb or ride up the Eiffel Tower for about 5 euros for ages 12 to 24 and then if you're over age 25 it costs 7 euros. Or you can take the elevator to the second floor for 11 euros. The last elevator ride to the top departs at 11:00pm during the summer and then at 10:30pm for the remainder of the year. Once you are up in the Eiffel Tower, you can stay as long as you'd like, but once you leave there is no re-entering.
If going up in the Eiffel Tower is something you are determined to do, I suggest researching before you go. Do you want to hike up the stairs or take the elevator? Do you want to go up during the day or up at night? Are you going in the summer time where the lines are much longer or in the winter? Whatever your preference is, make plans early. Plans such as buying your ticket early enough so you don't have a long wait and arriving in plenty of time so you don't miss the opportunity to go up.
Inside the Eiffel Tower there are a total of three floors. When you buy your ticket to go up it automatically takes you to the second floor. You can then pay a little more to go to the third floor. There are five different dinning options in side as well as different gift shops. If you know you want to eat inside the Eiffel Tower, I'd suggest researching the different restaurants and making an early reservation. One restaurant, The LeJulesVernel, requires reservations and proper attire.
For a great view to watch the Eiffel Tower light up and twinkle with lights, I'd go across the Siene River to the steps of the Trocadéro. The night time light show lasts five minutes and starts every hour on the hour.
All in all, Eiffel in love with the Eiffel Tower :)
What was it like seeing the Eiffel Tower or another monument for the first time for you? Please comment your stories, I'd love to hear them!