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First to the Eiffel tower, then to Bruges

Home -> City trips -> Paris -> Travelogue Paris -> 16 December 2013

Monday 16 December, first to the Eiffel tower, then to Bruges

When we check out after breakfast we ask at the reception if we can leave the car in the garage until this afternoon. So far, Teije has been able to get around quite well with his French, but when the receptionist starts talking back quickly, it becomes too difficult and he has to switch to English at the last moment, a shame he thinks. But we can leave the car for free or the whole day if we want.
The Eiffel Tower in the morning Elisabeth looks up at the Eiffel TowerWe still have blisters and sore feet of the many kilometers we have walked in the last few days so we decide not to take long walks today. We can choose from all kinds of possibilities, there is so much that we have not seen. In the end, we decide to first look for a terrace somewhere, then take a look at the Eiffel Tower in the daylight and then go to the next terrace.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris The Eiffel Tower, ParisLa tour Eiffel is known as the creation of Gustave Eiffel (who also designed the statue of liberty in New York) but in reality he was the main contractor and 2 engineers in his department were responsible for the design. The tower was the main attraction for the world exhibition of 1889, the hundredth year of the French Revolution, and would be demolished again 20 years later. At that time the high tower turned out to be very handy for placing antennas for radio messages and until 1930 it would remain the tallest building in the world.
In 1925, when there were rumors that the tower would be demolished anyway, a scammer (Victor Lustig) tried to sell the tower to scrap dealers and that even earned him 250,000 francs. He tried it again six months later, but this time he could barely escape the police.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris Under the Eiffel TowerBut the Eiffel Tower escaped demolition and an attack by the Wehrmacht; only in 1956 a fire damaged the top and a new antenna was installed. With the antenna, the colossus is 324 meters high and nowadays attracts around 6 million visitors a year, more than 16,000 a day, by far the most visited monument in the world. It is also an impressive colossus if you are standing underneath it, no wonder that it is also called a modern world wonder.
A leg of the Eiffel Tower A leg of the Eiffel TowerEven now it is very busy at the ticket office for the elevators and I do not really have the intention of going up. But you can go up to the 3rd floor with a lift to an altitude of about 310 meters.
On the ground you can also find a lot of information about the tower and so we find out that not one construction worker was killed during the 2 year project, which was quite exceptional at that time. One construction worker died out of service when he secretly wanted to climb the tower with his fiancé.
View of Avenue de New York Terrace near the Eiffel TowerWe walk through the surrounding area for a while and then have lunch in one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood. We also have a nice view of the many tourists who walk from the metro to the tower.
We have seen a lot in a short time of Paris and I do not need to discover anything new. And we are also going to Bruges, where we were only once very shortly and what seemed like a very nice town, much cozier than Paris. Such a big city is nice to walk around for a few days, but after that it seems to become a kind of job with everything you 'must' see.
And so we pick up our car in the beginning of the afternoon and drive the 300 kilometers to Bruges. Despite the busy traffic we soon leave Paris, a very special city, without a doubt, and I am glad that I have been there. But next time I would go there again for 3 days and not longer.


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