11 November 2005

I peed on the Eiffel Tower

Let's go to the scoreboard to see how well Amy is doing with her "to-do list" of siteseeing.
  • Go to the top of the Sacré Coeur dome. Check.
  • Go to the Hôtel des Invalides to see Napolean's grave and the Army museum. Nope.
  • Go to the Centre Georges Pompidou. I'm supposed to be there right now...
OK, so I'm not quite keeping up with my schedule. I think, however, that I made up for that last night with a nighttime trip to the Eiffel Tower. My original plan was to climb the stairs up the first two levels, and then take the elevator to the top. Yet, while I wasn't exactly looking forward to the workout, I was mainly unmotivated to go the tower because I had already seen several great views of Paris from above. The views from Notre Dame, the Arch de Triomphe, and Sacré Coeur were all fantastic. Did I really want to pay to see the same thing from yet another angle?

This issue resolved itself while Colin and I were eating dinner at "our" café last night. Rachel called in search of something to do because she wasn't able to get rush tickets for a concert she wanted to go to. The solution popped into my head almost immediately: the Eiffel Tower at night! We agreed to meet up at the foot of the tower after dinner.

"Unfortunately" the stairs weren't open last night, so I had to take the elevators. Oh darn! We paid our 10 or so euros for the trip to the top, and shortly thereafter were riding a series of elevators inside the icon of Paris. I am quite pleased to say that the view did not disappoint, though most of the pictures did. I have a night setting on my camera, but since it holds the lens open longer, it's a real challenge to avoid moving the slightest bit and getting a blurry picture. A few turned out quite well, I think, including this one of Rachel to the left of the view of the river Seine. Again, it doesn't do the view justice, but at least we have a token reminder of what it was like!

It was pretty cold up at the top (we were arguing about whether we were seeing snow or mist in the spotlights' rays), but not bitterly so. I was definitely glad to have a coat, a pair of gloves, a scarf, and a Colin to keep me warm!

As for the subject of this blog, it is indeed true: I peed on the Eiffel Tower last night. Seriously! There is a little bathroom on the second level that doesn't charge an entrance fee like every other tourist site in and around Paris. The best part? This bathroom also disproves the theory of "you get what you pay for" because the toilets have seats, there is plenty of toilet paper, and the sinks even give you warm water to wash your hands!

I think my favorite part of the evening (other than the opportunity to use bathroom humor in a joke) was when the tower "sparkled" the hour. Apparently, at the top of every hour, the tower turns on all of these little white strobe lights that flash in random order, giving the tower a "sparkling" effect. Of course, the picture doesn't even remotely do it justice, but you can kind-of see the white lights on the sides. I'll have to go back some time and take a little video of it. The kleptomaniac in me came alive at that moment (I love sparkly things), though even if I had thought of a way to steal the Eiffel Tower, I'm fairly certain that the 20 or so guards armed with semi-automatic rifles would have had something to say about it. So, sorry everyone, you'll just have to come to Paris to see for yourself.


At 11/11/05 13:46, Blogger croust said...

Just to clarify, there was indeed snow in the air at the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was lovely to watch as it danced in the beams of the searchlights, but the white stuff didn't have a chance of falling the last 95 meters to the ground.

At 11/11/05 15:19, Blogger amy7252 said...

So says Colin. I say it was mist. It wasn't cold enough for snow - I couldn't even see my breath!

At 21/11/05 18:33, Blogger JODSTER said...

Sadly, whenever you take a picture of the city from the Eiffel Tower, you don't get the tower in the picture...


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