Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Eiffel in Love: Away to Visit Paris part 7

Tour Eiffel, photographed from its base
I don't remember the Eiffel Tower as being so omnipresent on my first trip to Paris three years ago. Now, maybe because our apartment is nearby Place du Trocadéro, with its unsurpassed view of the Paris landmark, it seems that every day offers a new Eiffel photo op.

Tour Eiffel, photographed from Place du Trocadéro

Tour Eiffel, photographed from Parc du
Champ de Mars
 Three things about the Tour Eiffel you probably already know:
  1. The tower was built in honor of the centennial of the French Revolution for the 1889 Exposition Universelle.
  2. The tower was meant to be temporary.
  3. It was the tallest building in the world until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was completed in NYC. Then a 24-meter antenna was installed at the top of of Eiffel so it could be taller. A year later, the Empire State Building took top honors.
Tour Eiffel, photographed from Place
du Trocadéro

One thing you may not already know about the Tour Eiffel:
  1. In 1912, a Parisian tailor named Reichelt attempted to fly from the tower. It was clear he was trying to fly and not die, because he was wearing wings (actually a cape). He didn't fly. He did die.
In addition to its great view of the Tour Eiffel, Place du Trocadéro contains the Palais de Chaillot, which, in turn, contains three museums, a theater, and a 250-acre garden. Also, bronze sculptures, ornamental pools and fountains. Of course, tour buses import a constant stream of tourists throughout the day, but the most popular time is at night for the Eiffel's snazzy, hourly light show.

An colorful group of tourists, beauty queens
perhaps (they had an entourage), whip out
their camera phones to photograph Tour
Eiffel from Place du Trocadéro.
 I find a less-crowded Eiffel viewing spot on the Pont de Bir Hakeim, one of 37 Paris bridges across the Seine. I also come across two wedding photo sessions as well as a small dance troupe.

A wedding photo session on Pont de Bir Hakeim

Another wedding photo session on Pont de Bir Hakeim

A dancer warms up on Pont de Bir Hakeim.

Tour Eiffel, photographed from Pont
de Bir Hakeim

Oh, and here's something else I recently discovered about the Tour Eiffel (courtesy

When Thomas Edison visited the tower in 1889, he wrote this in its guest book:
"Monsier Eiffel, engineer, builder of great brave and extraordinary creations of modern engineering from someone who is respected and admired by all engineers, including the Great Engineer of the Lord God. Thomas Edison." 
The website, has a slightly different version:
"To Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison."
Whichever quotation is correct, I assume Tom would have given the Eiffel Tower a favorable review on TripAdvisor.
Ken on Pont de Bir Hakeim

Me too.

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