Bonjour Mes Amis!
Hubby and I just returned yesterday from 5 wonderful nights in Paris! For months, I had said that for my "big" birthday, I wanted to climb the Eiffel Tower, so that is exactly what we did! But first, I'll back up a bit and tell you a little about our adventures getting there!
Last Wednesday evening, we were sitting on the the plane in Detroit, next in line for take off. We were super excited of course, and could hardly wait to become airborne. Well, the captain made an announcement that there was a mechanical problem, so we would be returning to the gate and have it hopefully fixed. We all had to get off, and were told to return in 2 1/2 hours. Not very happy, but at least we got to get off the plane! So, 2 1/2 hours later and back in our seats, the problem supposedly fixed, and again next in line for take off. Wouldn't you know, but the captain made yet another announcement! "Sorry folks, seems that the mechanical problem was not fixed after all, we will be returning to the gate. This flight will be cancelled."
Since hubby and I fly standby (he is an airline retiree), we always have a back up plan. Well, wouldn't you know, but our back up flight had already left! Darn! Disappointed, we were about to head home, when we noticed a flight to London at the very last minute. It was a very full flight, but thankfully we managed to get seats just before they were about to shut the door. We knew that we most likely would be able to catch a flight to Paris if we made it that far!
(flying stand by means being very flexible, even if you don't always want to be!)
Well, things weren't looking so good in London, but long story short, we finally managed to get on a flight to Paris, and made it there! 12 hours later than planned, but we made it, yeah!
My "big" birthday was Monday our last full day in Paris. The day was beautiful, around 70 degrees and sunny, perfect for climbing the tower! I was so happy that the weather had cooperated, as it had been unseasonably cool, and rainy while we were there.
It had been several years since we climbed the tower, and I was in much better shape then (not to mention younger!). But, I was determined to climb it! You have two choice when visiting the tower, you can either take an elevator all the way up, or climb to the 2nd level, then take the elevator. It is 350 steps to the first level, then another 350 steps to the second.
The photo below is a view from the first level, looking way up!
After about 6 flights of stairs, I thought I had overestimated myself, maybe I just wasn't up to this! My thighs were on fire, and my lungs were burning! So we stopped for a few moments every few flights to catch our breath. Whew! Once we made it to the first level, I was so happy! I knew that I could make it to the 2nd!
Here we are, so happy to have some of the climbing behind us (I think this is at the first level).
What amazing views!
And here is the view from inside of the glass elevator, headed up!
Oh, this is what it looks like inside of one of the towers, when you are climbing.
I zoomed in for all of these shots, as in reality everything looks much, much smaller when you are up at
899 ft! We were so excited to finally be at the top of the tower, and I was happy that I reached my goal after all!
In the above photo, you can see the Seine River, as well as the Grand Palais (the large glass roofed structure). In the photo below is the incredible Arc de Triomphe.
Below you can see Sacre-Couer, a cathedral which sits on the highest hill in the city.
This is what it looks like when you look straight up to the top, which is at 1,050 feet!
That's Champ-de-Mars below.
Hotel des Invalides is the large building in the photo below. It was built as a military hospital, and is where Napoleon was laid to rest.
After spending alot of time just admiring the incredible views, we took the elevator back down to the 2nd level, then from there climbed down the 700 steps. Going down sure was alot easier than up!
Near the base of the tower are many pretty little ponds and gardens like this one.
And this unique grotto.
I'll be sharing lots more photos of our trip later this week.
Here is the best part of coming home, our Katie!
We could hardly wait to pick her up from the "pet resort" yesterday!
And we couldn't believe how much she had grown in a weeks time!
Looking forward to getting caught up with all of you!