Travel

The Eiffel Tower: No photo can do it justice

Budding young travel writer Jessie Gretener  at the Eiffel Tower.
Budding young travel writer Jessie Gretener at the Eiffel Tower.

TO climb the Eiffel Tower is on most people's bucket list; well it was definitely on mine and it's an experience that I am going to have as many times as possible throughout my life.

The view over the city of love is unbelievable and no photos, videos or stories can give it justice on just how unbelievable it is.

The tower itself is such an incredible structure, so large it cannot be fully appreciated unless on the tower itself. All different times of the days bring all different experiences that will last a lifetime.

To walk up to the second floor where you will already have jaw dropping views costs a total of €50, though if you want to embark higher, it costs an additional 5€ to get the very top of the one and only Eiffel Tower.

Walkers, runners, bikers, tightropers and all sorts of people, as well as animals have embarked on the journey up the Eiffel Tower. The tower is known to have many runners training by running up the steps, the fastest being timed to the first floor at 3 minutes and 12 seconds in 1905. The cost of €50 to get to the second floor which is cheaper than any gym and plus has one of the most famous and spectacular views, so why not? Crazier records set on the Tower have been set from people going to a higher extreme.

A tightrope walker in 1989 crossed 700m from the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadero. In 2002 Hughes Richard set the world record for climbing the stairs to the second level on a mountain bike. Though the best record set on the Tower was when an 85 year old elephant, who was the eldest elephant in the world at the point was taken to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower in 1948. 

Every 7 years the Tower is painted by a team off 25 using around 60 tonnes of paint, the last time being in 2009. Maybe next time I will try breaking a record - hopping up the tower?

 

The Eiffel Tower in Paris at night. Photo: Jessica Gretener
The Eiffel Tower in Paris at night. Photo: Jessica Gretener

To fully appreciate the wonders of the Eiffel Tower and the view of the city of love you need to dedicate at least 3 hours, if not more. I spent a total of 4 hours and could have easily spent double that. Starting my climb at 5pm was perfect, as over that time on the tower I experienced sunshine, clouds and rain on the Eiffel Tower as well as day, sunset and night on the Eiffel Tower; each one bringing different and spectacular views and experiences.

When you hear about climbing the tower, you hear about the 5 hour long lines you have to wait in before you can even start on the first step. This is a lie though, you just need to keep your eyes open and look around. When arriving we first saw a line that wrapped under and around the tower, at least 3 hours. This line would give people access to the first floor with either the steps or an elevator. Though if you walked to another leg of the tower, there was a 20 minute line that would access you to only the stairs. The choice was either walk up one flight of stairs or wait 3 hours for a 1 minute lift - which one do you think will give you a more of experience? Stairs it was for me, and hardly any line. Plus if you were really so tired after the first section of stairs you can buy a ticket for the lift for the rest of the way at the first floor, where there was actually no line.

The climb up the tower was wonderful and such an incredible experience, that I think should be had by all. The views of the city and the actual Tower are unbelievable and I loved it so much. Once you reach the first floor you will find a restaurant, an exhibition, a shop, and amazing sights of Paris. At this point of time I was lucky enough to have beautiful sunshine, enabling me to see very far off into the distance. At the moment the middle of the first floor is out of bounds and under construction as they are building a glass floor, which will be incredible once completed.

On the first floor I had a wonderful French picnic which I bought up, filled with croissants and baguettes. Afterwards I continued to climb up to the second floor. At this point it was around 7pm and the sunset was beginning. It was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. The reds and oranges reflected on all the building, and the carpet of lights started to appear. The sunset was the most beautiful and romantic view of Paris.

To reach the very top of the tower, you must catch the lift the rest of the way. As night was here, the tower was lit up with yellow lights, giving it a look of pure gold. Going up through the now gold frame work of the tower was gorgeous and you could see the carpet of lights though the spaces between the framework. Being a Friday night, and being the Eiffel Tower it was extremely crowded full of all sorts of people. Couples in love were kissing at the edge, birthdays were being celebrated, and all sorts of other celebrations. On top of the Eiffel you felt like you were on top of the world. I could see everything, and all the lights looked so beautiful. The main monuments of Paris were all lit up in yellow, making them look gold and stand out. This was such an unforgettable experience, and something I will be coming back to do many times.

 

At the very top you will find a small bar where you can buy champagne for 10€. "Is Paris Burning" said Hitler, "Yes" he was answered. This lie to Hitler bought the freedom to France, and celebration up the tower lasted many months with never ending champagne being toasted on the Tower. When toasting at the top of the Tower they say you are still toasting to the freedom of France, over 60 years ago.

As I started back down the tower it started to rain. Lit up the yellow lights the Tower looked solid gold, and rain coming down looked like flakes of gold flying of the tower into the wind. Once I reached the bottom, the flakes of gold had stopped though now a million diamonds lit up the sky. Once every hour the hundreds of little bluish white lights would take the attention of the city. Looking like a giant Christmas tree, the lights would sparkle for around 10 minutes creating the prettiest sight I have ever seen. The thoughts going through my head at this point was 'I can't believe I am here' as the diamonds sparkled on the gold tower of love.

The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France

Tourism Website: http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/

Ticket to 2nd floor: 2EUR (2.45 AUD)

Ticket to top: 12EUR (14.73 AUD)

Hours Open: 09.30 - 23.00

Topics:  eiffel tower, france, jessie gretener, paris, travel


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