Paris: Eiffel Tower

by jenjenk on September 2, 2011

I’m going to share something with you that I know won’t be a popular statement.  I know that people are going to tell me I’m crazy – I’ve heard it often enough to know [both in general AND in regards to the following statement].  Of all the places, structures, and buildings in Paris that I’ve seen, the Eiffel Tower is the least impressive to me. I hate to say it but I was expecting something along the lines of my reactions to Notre Dame or the Statue of David – a sight to take my breath away.  Instead, what nestled in my breast was something akin to heartburn.  Actually it was closer to apathy.  There was just no reaction in the area where my heart should be.

The first time I was in Paris, I took a “behind the scenes” tour of the Eiffel Tower.  I have to admit that I loved hearing about the myths and legends of the construction and history of the tower.  [Moreover, I loved being able to skip over the long lines for the lift since I was there during Peak Summer Season!]

We had the opportunity to view the mechanics behind the lifts and the communication room.  During our tour of the area, I happened to look up and see the very long lift lines [below, right].  I smiled with glee as we bypassed them and jumped onto the very next lift.

When we got off the lift on the 2nd level, I finally had a chance to look at the view.  That was the view that finally took my breath away.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a view OF the Eiffel Tower.

In spite of my blase attitude towards the tower during the day time, when viewed at night it does bring a huge smile to my face.

IMG_1077My friend, Erin, said that she liked the Eiffel Tower because it told her that she was in PARIS.  I can understand and relate to that.  It’s an identifier.

Eiffel Tower at nightPerhaps I haven’t given it a chance to grow on me. Maybe the next time I go to Paris, I’ll have an epiphany…the chorus of “Hallelujah” may strike up and that funny fluttery feeling I get when I see Notre Dame may come to life in my chest. Doubtful, but I will allow that it is possible.  After all, it does mean that I’m back in Paris!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurel September 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

I still haven’t been to Paris yet, but I’ve had similar underwhelming reactions when I’ve heard about how great a place is so many times. I think it sets my expectations too high, then I end up disappointed.

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Matt Hope September 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I’m going to Paris at the end of September and can’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower!

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jenjenk September 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Matt: I hope you *love* the eiffel tower!! :)

Laurel: that’s probably what it was – I set my expectations too high!

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Vickie McCorkendale September 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

It’s fabulous how unique each person’s reacaction is to such an iconic thing. I was actually quite impressed. I’ve only been once. It was rainy. It amazed me with it’s size. I have never toured it or stood in line to walk around it. We had dinner at the Jules Verne up inside the tower. It was one of the most expensive meals of my life and certainly had the absolute best view!

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jenjenk September 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Vick – how was the food at Jules Verne? was it worth the expense?

Marj – I would *love* to live in Paris…if even for a few months!!!

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Marj Lago September 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Hi Jen, thank you for your comment the other day. I like your blog too it’s beautiful, elegant and simple :) The Eiffel tower is absolutely magnificent. I have been to Paris a couple of times and I find that the Eiffel Tower seems more romantic and a lot more beautiful at night time. I can’t wait to go back to Paris again but hopefully to live there for a while :)

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Ashley September 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I was thrilled by the Eiffel Tower – but I was only 20 and it was my very first trip abroad. I can totally understand not being overwhelmed by it. I was completely disappointed by the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona. Had wanted to see them forever, and then just thought they were “eh”.

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nod 'n' smile September 2, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I’ve been to Paris twice and to be honest, I find the city itself underwhelming (which is a very rare thing for me when I travel). Sometimes I wonder what I’m missing, but then I also think that not just buying into what’s popular makes you look deeper into the experience so that you can really extract your own opinions and unique experience.

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jenjenk September 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I hear you! I think what I like most about Paris is eating…and drinking. I’ve only been there for days at a time & usually scurry off to other parts. :)

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Sailor September 3, 2011 at 12:08 am

You have some amazing pictures here!

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ayngelina September 3, 2011 at 11:41 am

I was 16 when I went to Paris and I didn’t even go up the Eiffel Tower, it was really a letdown. I much preferred the Arc de Triomphe.

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Mark Wiens September 4, 2011 at 1:37 am

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to Paris, but as a small kid, maybe 6 years old when I went there, I was impressed (but I think I was impressed at that age by anything). It would be interesting to see my reaction if I returned to Paris anytime soon.

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Sophie September 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

I rather like the Eiffel Tower. It’s an interesting structure and looks cool when you come upon it unexpectedly – all of a sudden, there it is when you turn the corner. Suppose it’s a question of expectations.

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Todd @ Todd's Wanderings September 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

I have been to Paris either (yes, backwater countries call to my soul more) but I have a feeling that the tower would not impress me a this point. I’m more excited to see it lit at night amongst the rest of Paris. But I’m happy to be surprised!

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica September 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I was not overly impressed when I first saw it up close either. And the huge lines definitely were not appealing, but I went back at a less popular time and got to climb it and see the view.

But I do love seeing it in the background of the rest of my photos. It’s much cooler at a distance :-)

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Renee September 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I loved seeing the Eiffel Tower, but that doesn’t mean everyone else will. There are certain things that move you and others that have no affect on you. It’s all a matter of personal taste and I agree that scene directly across from the tower is to die for!

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