Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Eiffel Tower

So the title brought you here:) Or you think that the Eiffel Tower is romantic and wonderful?  I've been to France twice in my lifetime and I remember the first time arriving.  I HAD to go to the Eiffel Tower....just had to because that's what you do.  This shot was in 2005 when I started thinking about a good camera and equipment to create fantastic pics.  I'll recommend one thing about this trip to France.  Visit the Eiffel Tower.  Not because it's cool.  Not because it's even interesting, but because it will calm you down so that you can enjoy the rest of what France has to offer.  The Eiffel Tower is NOT the highlight of France and it's rather boring.  LOL!  Some of you might think, "Oh it was beautiful.  I don't know what you're talking about:)"  Give me a chance to explain and maybe, I'll redeem myself here:)  But do get your mandatory pic in front of the Eiffel Tower out the way.  But look at the pic.  It's not my stupid face or even the tower that commands the camera's attention......it's the couple on the left.  It's all about love and February:) That's the real picture and that's where I begin my story.....
The first time to France I got it all wrong.  In 2004, I had to crawl up the darn thing and look around the tower, touch the tower and stand in that terrible line at the tower.  In 2005, my 2nd and probably last time in Paris, I figured it out.  It's not the stupid tower.  It's the people we need to be watching that come to the Eiffel Tower! So I laid down in the beautiful park area that surrounds the majestic symbol of France and "people watched" and noticed.....the French woman playing ball with her dog and the colorful stand serving delicious warm crepes.  The scene was so relaxing that I actually fell asleep in the park.  This isn't hard to do since the time difference between the US and Europe are SO different.  Day is night and night is day.  However, it makes going out clubbing at night a lot of fun because it's really our daytime:)
 The park that surrounds the tower is quite lovely and so is the river walk.  Paris definitely has a lot of culture to offer and what I found fascinating were the Egyptian statues and fountains found all over the area.
While the tower is the central focus, it's just the glue for the attractions around it.  There is plenty of shopping to do. You can take a ride on the Seine River and just let your hair down for a bit from the intense walking that goes on during the day.  Also be ready for crowds.....
What's charming about the area are the formal hedges and plantings.  As a gardener, I fell in love with the look and feel of the place. There are a lot of great ideas from fantastic design.
You'll notice some shots with sun and some with clouds.  During my two visits, I went in winter and early summer.  My recommendation is to go in spring or summer when things start to bloom.  It's absolutely breathtaking!
This is a shot of the Seine River from on top of the Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
You'll find lots of souvenir shops around the various levels of the tower.  But truly, and I mean this with all my heart, it's the picture below that makes a trip to the Eiffel Tower worthwhile.  This is one of my prized pics from the past.  It's a simple shot of a woman taking her dog to the park to play ball but in a very French manner.  The dog listens to her as she begins to prepare and throw the ball.  And this is the true secret of the Eiffel Tower.  It's about the Parisians who use the park for their own pleasure. Also watch their love for dogs.  Dogs GO everywhere with them.....restaurants, shopping, the bathroom, and the changing rooms!!!  I don't think I've ever laughed so much as when I saw a lady go into the dressing with her dog.  Great memory.
But if you are like me, you had to get that pic of the Eiffel Tower into your shots or your entire trip to France would have been ruined.  I'm here to tell you today that France is more than just one tower. I have a mini series on France which include some of my favorite memories from this truly picturesque country.
But just in case, you didn't get enough of the Eiffel Tower, here's just one more shot for the road ;)

12 comments:

  1. You have a delightful sense of humor and that is one of the aspects about your blog that appeals to me, so no, I didn't just come because of your title for this particular post. I enjoy all of your posts and really do wish I had more time to visit more regularly. You write in an interesting, infectious way and I love your photography. I definitely look forward to anymore that you have to share from your trip to France. I've only visited once, more than 38 years ago! It was too fleeting for us to see much more than the touted touristy spots.

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  2. This was a wonderful look into France from a fresh perspective. I believe that no matter where we go, people are the story. You have described and captured that feeling beautifully.

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  3. i like how you view the world. :)

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  4. Great photos and info. Someday maybe we'll have an Eiffel Tower photo too. We tend to gravitate to natural creations, but love old buildings with all the details so Europe beckons. People watching is the best at places like this.

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  5. Hello! I did not know so many information about this park...Thank You very much for sharing!

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  6. Amazing blog and beautiful pics. Looking forward to seeing more...Greetings...Heidi

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  7. Always loved Paris - growing up in Dortmund, Germany, I spent lots of short vacations, usually staying at the dorms of the Sorbonne because it was cheap. During the day - the Quatier Latin

    Nice meeting you today!
    My pics are soso - didn't expect much more than documentation. We were just talking about the funny name of the Beardless Tyrannulet on the way home.

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    1. I went into that nature center with the birding checklist. If it hadn't been for your excellent eyes, I may have not seen the Sora. I hung out for awhile and waited for the proper lighting to capture this bird. I think it's one of the best pictures of the collection BUT the showcase on Cedear Waxwings produced hohum results. The lighting. Always the lighting. My butterfly shots were a total bust. Why do the weekends fly by so fast??!! OH well. Take care and we'll probably bump into each other again on another birding or wildlife expedition here in town. Whenever a birder reports a sighting, I usually head out to search for it within a couple days time.

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  8. No, no you are right about the Eiffel Tower... do you know that I went up the tower for the first time when I was in my 40's to be able to say that I had been there and to show my kids the place? I lived very close to Trocadero during the time I worked in Paris and was walking by the Eiffel Tower mostly to see the attractions...

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  9. Oh how i wish i had the chance to step on that famous Paris soil, unfortunately i saw the Eiffel Tower only a few ft tall, that is from the plain. I only reach Charles de Gaule airport on the way to Strasbourg, where i stayed only for a week. A famous broadcaster in this country I saw on the walkalator at the airport offered her friend's house in Paris to have me a couple of days, but I am too shy to accept the offer. I didn't know the broadcaster personally but when countrymen see each other in foreign lands, we behave like long lost friends. I should have accepted the offer, but the notice is too short for the airline, so i might be getting a very expensive change of flight, so foregone with it. I wish i will still have a chance again. Lastly, the Eiffel is nice also from the air! haha

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  10. Great post, love your photos and writing.
    I guess I am one of the few who have been to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day :O)
    Mette

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  11. i love these posts you do about things we have to see and things that are overrated. Good to know for when I actually have the cash for world travel!

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