Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paris Day Two: The Eiffel Tower

Once we had our cappuccinos and chocolate croissants in hand, we were off to the train station. Emma loved the funky seats in the station. They reminded me of the 1970s and The Brady Bunch.
This is the Palais de Chaillot across from the Eiffel Tower.
One again I was delighted to catch my first glimpse of history through tree branches. :)
 Check out Miss Emma's Eiffel Tower ensemble with which I surprised her in Paris.
Her skirt has pink poodles and miniature Eiffel Towers on it. Too cute!
Check out her modeling pose. 
And now for some scoop on the Eiffel Tower. "Originally built to impress visitors to the 1889 Universal Exhibition [World Fair], the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) was meant to be a temporary addition to the Paris skyline. Designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, it was fiercely decried by the 19th-century aesthetes...The world's tallest building until 1931, when New York's Empire State Building was completed, the tower is now the symbol of Paris. Freshly painted every 7 years, with a light show that plays every night on the hour, the Tour Eiffel has never looked better...According to Eiffel, the complex pattern of pig-iron girders came from the need to stabilize the tower in strong winds. But Eiffel's design quickly won admirers for its pleasing symmetry." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris pages 194-195.) See the platform way at the top? It's 905 feet high. Yup, we went to the top!
It was very windy and cold at the top, but that didn't deter us. Check out the views we enjoyed. This is overlooking the Hotel des Invalides (gold dome). More about this in a later post.
At the end of the green park you can see the Ecole Militaire which is the Royal Military Academy.
This is the Seine. "Paris would not have existed without the Seine. The river provided early peoples with the means to explore the lands, forests, marshes and islands. Recent excavations have unearthed canoes dating back to 4,500 BC, well before a Celtic tribe, known as the Parisii, settled there in the 3rd century BC..."  (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris page 20.) 
Remember the photo of the Palais de Chaillot at the top of this blog? This is how it looked from atop the Eiffel Tower
This one overlooks the Seine and the Grand Palais (the building surrounded by trees in the upper left corner).
This made me chuckle. Apparently it's a big deal to drink a glass of champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower. We opted for cappuccinos and hot chocolate.
We thought this was kind of cool.

This window in the floor lets you look at the ground below you. Awesome!
We walked through the adjoining park, the Champ-de-Mars, and looked back at the Eiffel Tower.
The girls wanted a photo with their silly faces.
I bought Emma a small replica of the Eiffel Tower. Here's Keaton checking to see if it was made to scale
and teaching Emma to do the same.
This is a HORRIBLE photo of me, but eh what can you do.
This photo of me kissing my sweetheart in front of the Eiffel Tower has been on my "bucket list" for quite awhile. I LOVE it!
Here's another look at the Ecole Militaire .
In the upper right corner you can see the Dome Church, home to Napoleon's Tomb. I'll talk more about that in my next post.
I took this along Rue Cler, the street market in the area. We had the best fresh baguettes sandwiches here. 
That's it for today. Happy Wednesday!

1 comment:

Christy Lynn said...

LOVE Miss Emma's Eiffel Tower outfit, how cute is that! I was just thinking there is NO WAY we'll get my mom up in the Eiffel Tower next year...or my brother either, they're both terribly afraid of heights. I wasn't too fond of the elevator ride from the second level to the top my own self. One thing I really liked though was how they had the border all around the room up top that had the height of the tower as compared to other world landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Pyramids at Giza, etc. That was pretty cool!