Paris in October – part 19 – The Eiffel Tower

Does the Eiffel Tower really need any text description? The one really cool thing I can think of about it you probably don’t know is that when it was built, it generated polarizing opinions among Parisians – they either loved it or loathed it. One famous French writer was known to detest it as an eyesore, yet he would go there to have lunch every day in the restaurant. When asked why he would do such a thing since he hated it so much, he remarked, “because it is the one place in Paris I can be where I can’t SEE it”. I’ll leave it to you to judge its beauty, but it has endured for over 120 years despite the fact it was only originally intended to last for 20 and has become an internationally recognized and beloved symbol of the city of Paris.

Eiffel Tower Silhouette
Eiffel Tower Silhouette
Eiffel Tower, Blue Sky
Eiffel Tower, Blue Sky

Riding up to the 2nd tier in the elevator, you can see the giant wheels that run the cables to raise and lower the elevators that ride in the leg piers. The elevators themselves are double-deckers, and halfway up the transit from the ground to the second tier, they actually change angle of ascent as the leg angle changes.

Elevator Wheels
Elevator Wheels
Elevator Wheels, Looking Up
Elevator Wheels, Looking Up

The view to the east from the second deck includes the Seine river, the Louvre (just beginning to intrude into the frame at the far right middle ground), and in the distant far left background is the Sacre Coeur church on top of Montmartre.

East View, 2nd Tier
East View, 2nd Tier

Looking south, the view encompasses the Champ De Mars and the French Military Academy, and in the distant background, the Tour Montparnasse. I did not ascend the Tour Montparnasse even though it has an observation deck some 50 stories up, but I did pass below it through the Gare Montparnasse on my trip to Versailles.

Champ De Mars, 2nd Tier View
Champ De Mars, 2nd Tier View

I know I posted this image before as a bit of a one-off, but I’ll re-include it here because it belongs as part of this grouping. While waiting in line for the elevator, I looked at the security glass in the partition that controlled the line and saw the shadow of the tower under the reflection of the clouds on the other side. I had to chance the photo, even though the coating on the safety glass can cause strange color casts in the image. I think it paid off – what do you think?

Eiffel Tower Shadow, Clouds
Eiffel Tower Shadow, Clouds

Not really apropos of anything other than geographic proximity: across the street from the Eiffel Tower, at the foot of the bridge that spans the Seine and leads to the old Trocadero Palace, there is a charming double-decker carousel.

Double Deck Carousel
Double Deck Carousel
Double Deck Carousel
Double Deck Carousel

What can I say, I like carousels. We have two very nice ones here in DC – one at Glen Echo where I teach and another one on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle. I’ve photographed both of them in very different ways- Glen Echo I’ve shot in color numerous times, and the Smithsonian one I’ve shot with my 5×12 in black-and-white and printed in palladium. Some day soon I’ll get up to New York and photograph the one at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. I think I sense a new project coming on!

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