Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In Paris

On July 26  we were in Paris. My nephew had tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower at 10:30 PM to see the view.  We took the RER train which was near the ship to the Tower...a mere two stops...then we walked a little bit and the Eiffel Tower was right in front of us! It’s huge. It’s also crowded with tons of people. Listening to all the languages being spoken was amazing. Vendors were selling everything from Eiffel Tower charms and key chains, to caps and scarves and t-shirts and whirling-gigs that glow in the dark. Music was playing. It seemed like everyone was happy.

We were treated to the 9:00 PM light show that happens every hour on the hour. The Tower is lit up at night, but on the hour, an extra set of sparkly lights glitter up and down the structure for about 5 or so minutes. The lacy structure looks magical.

At 10:23 exactly (we tried to get in line sooner and discovered that the ticketed line opens 7 minutes before the time) we entered the line. The non-ticketed line was long, but our line was “short” in comparison. We gathered our group of 14 and went thru the gates and into the first of 2 elevators.

I thought that if we were on the first elevator there would not be a wait for the second elevator, but I was wrong. Folks get off on the first platform and view the sites...then they line up for the longer elevator ride to the top of the structure. We looked at the view and almost immediately got in the next line. This one did  not give priorities to folks who had timed tickets!
After a long wait in a snaky line, we finally got into one of the tiny elevators to the top. There’s even an elevator operator...what a strange person to see. We finally got to the top. While waiting in line we adopted a person to join our group. Shannon was afraid of heights so we convinced her to stay with us and it would be all right. She had been on the first platform for 3 hours gathering up her courage to go up. She even called her mother in Canada asking for support. Finally, we all held hands and made the ascent without a hitch. She was so proud of herself for conquering her fear of heights!

Once at the top we were treated to a view of Paris at night with a full moon. What a treat. We saw the ferris wheel at the Tuileries,

the Arc d’Triumphe,

the Invalides Palace,

 (I could identify those) and so much more. The little lights of the city were shining their hearts out for us. Laser lights and spot lights were shone on the city from the top of the Tower. We even saw a young couple get engaged on the top! It was a great night.

We stayed on the Eiffel Tower about 4 hours then we had to make our way back to the ship. The RER was closed, so we taxied back  It was a magical evening and a memory we will not forget for a long long time.

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