Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

Famous Landmarks

June 3, 2015
Paris, France

With an overcast sky this morning I hoped Paris’ most famous landmark wouldn’t be too busy and though the sky was grey, it was still worth the trip.

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The Eiffel Tower (named after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel) was erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair. Initially it was criticized and called, “elephant”, a “giraffe”, a “hulking metal beast crouched on all fours,” but eventually it was accepted and has become synonymous with Paris and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

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For only €5 you can take the stairs all the way to the second floor, which is a bit of a hike but offers you the opportunity to really see the structure up close and appreciate what went into designing and building it. The line for the stairs is almost always shorter than the line for the elevator so if time is short that is something worth considering.

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The first floor has a cafe, washrooms, gift shop and a new glass floor section that only induces a mild case of vertigo.

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From the second floor the elevator ride to the top is another €6.50, but it’s not possible to climb all the way by yourself…and I’m not sure many people would be up for the challenge. Once at the top it’s cold and windy and crowded, but the view is lovely.

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Seeing the Arc de Triomphe from the Eiffel was like zeroing in on a target as that was where I was heading next.

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The Arc de Triomphe was designed in 1806 and honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces and beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

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Although the weather was a bit off today I think it helped to keep some of the crowds away. The Louvre is open late tonight (Wednesdays and Fridays) so I hope our luck holds out and it’s not too much of a zoo when we go later tonight.

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Bonjour Paris!

June 1, 2015
Paris, France

I’ve left Denmark (and some lovely Danes) behind to continue on to Paris, the City of Lights, the City of Romance…possibly the most photographed city in the world and with good reason. It’s beautiful here. I get it now. I didn’t really understand the appeal before, but standing in the middle of so much history and so much beauty I can say that I understand why millions flock here every year and why some keep coming back for more.

To help with our bearings and get a birds eye view we went to The Centre Pompidou and for €3 you can ascend to the 6th floor for a “view of Paris.” Access to the museum itself is €14 and the view is included with that.2015-06-01 13.18.23 2015-06-01 13.33.07 2015-06-01 13.34.14One thing to note with the Centre Pompidou is that the view is not 360 and a lot of it is in a covered plastic tube with little windows that are open. I was hoping it would be open air and I could get some nice panoramic shots, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case (for €3 though I can’t really complain). There is a restaurant on the 6th floor that looked very nice (ie. expensive) that seemed to have a large, uncovered view so that could always be an option if you’re feeling fancy.

From the Pompidou we wandered down to the Seine where we took a cruise of the river with Vedettes du Pont Neuf. The cruise was about an hour, narrated in French and English, and covered a lot of the major sites.

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Our cruise departed at 10pm, second last of the night, just after the sun had gone down and the city started to glow. I wanted to take the cruise at night because of how the city would be lit, but I failed to think about how pictures would turn out in the dark, on a quick moving boat.

Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

Assemblée Nationale

Assemblée Nationale

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Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf

The highlight was the Eiffel Tower, which was lit up and sparkling as we went past.

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The reason we chose Vedettes du Pont Neuf was because they had pretty decent reviews and a good price (€10 pp if booked in advance). I thought the commentary was good, you could hear the guide despite the school group that chatted the whole time, and really it’s just a taste of what the city has to offer.

Try arriving a bit early and choose your seat carefully. We ended up on the inside aisle, not at the railing and I had a security camera in most of my shots. I loved seeing the city at night, but would have preferred a bit earlier so it wasn’t completely dark by the end, which compromised a lot of photos. I think 9pm would probably have been a better time to set out.

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