The last time I took the elevator up the Eiffel Tower was 3.5 years ago and after that, I swore I would try my best never to do it again. Doing it once is enough, I thought, and who wants to deal with the pickpockets and con-artists that lurk below, the long lines and cramped elevators, the sheer tourism of it all?
But then I found myself accompanying a friend to the tower on Monday. She had a free ticket and after some indecisiveness, I decided to take advantage of the free entry. Honestly, I was not really looking forward to it. The main reason I wanted to go was to take some pictures of the brand new cherry blossoms making their early appearance for Spring. I accomplished my goal and ended up getting some amazing shots of the blossoms – blurred Eiffel in the background – but I also managed to have a good time.
The words Eiffel Tower and calm don’t typically go together. Never in my wildest dreams would I describe one of the world’s most recognized tourist attractions and landmarks as calm. But on this February afternoon, that’s exactly what it was. We did have to wait in line, but there was plenty of open space all around the middle viewing deck. Besides the elevator ride, it didn’t feel cramped, rushed or stressful. Another positive point? The temperature wasn’t too cold, which is important considering how much wind chill you feel on the top of a completely unprotected spire in the sky. Maybe it was also something about the clouds and winter stillness that added to the relaxed feeling.
With so few people around, I was actually able to photograph the structure itself, not just the view. I was a creeper and spied on other people.
Dear couple (I’m assuming you’re a couple) that I took a picture of on February 22nd, 2016:
I’m sorry I used you as models in my photograph without your knowledge. You were just placed so perfectly that I couldn’t resist! If you ever happen to see this photo, please send me an email! If you don’t like the picture, I will happily remove it. If you do like this picture, I’ll send you the full size so you can get it printed! I wish you the very best in your lives and future endeavors.
We didn’t go to the summit, which is fine by me. Instead, we wandered around the first floor before taking the stairs back to Earth. I loved being able to see inside the base of the tower, to see all the little people from a gods-eye view. I also liked walking on the sections of glass. I was a little bummed that they were frosted with a texture to be less transparent (or maybe it was structural reinforcement?), but I managed to feel some thrilling vertigo nonetheless. I saw lots of people giving the glass floor a very wide berth. Those people were probably afraid of heights. I guess I can see why the glass wasn’t entirely see-through..that might have induced panic attacks in some people.
And finally, the highlight of my photographic journey that day – the cherry blossoms. Need I really say more on that subject?????