October 20, 2011

Paris: Day 3 Eiffel Tower

What can anyone say about the Eiffel Tower that hasn't been said before. This is the symbol of Paris, an absolutely beautiful  work of art in itself. We walked around the Eiffel Tower several times while in Paris and no matter what time of day it was we still found that it was incredibly busy. Its hard for you to imagine to size of the tower until you are directly underneath it gasping in awe. Day 3 took us here for the first time and we were absolutely thrilled with the experience. 

As a word of caution this is the hot spot for scam artists. While walking around we can across several people who approached us with a petition to sign claiming they were deaf and needed a minimum of 10 euros to sign the petition. DO NOT pay these people. If you watch them closely they will usually wander off into a corner with the rest of their group and start talking perfect french even though they couldn't seem to communicate a few seconds later. Don't assume that they will just leave you alone if you say no either. I had signed a few words to them and they didn't know sign language. No matter what I tried they still got aggressive. Best way to approach them if they cant take a hint is to simply tell them you will call the police or "Je vais appeler la police". While at a local pub we were speaking with the bartender who told us that she ran a tour group a few years back and one lady got stabbed in the hand by a scam artist and was rushed to the hospital. Stay alert and just walk the opposite way when you see them coming. 

With that being said: Bienvenue √† la Tour Eiffel

As a photographer this was one of the most difficult locations I took on because no matter where you go someone has taken that picture before. It really pushes your creativity to try and produce a photo that is both unique and engaging at the same time.

Before we arrived at the Eiffel Tower we walked through a market on the southern end where there were vendors galore. We tried some chocolates, looked at the new line of nike clothing being sold in paris and even watched a large group perform yoga moves to some upbeat music.

After the market we came up to the international peace wall. The wall is decorated with the word "Peace" in every language. Unfortunately, either the weather or a person decided to break a window on the monument. This is a really cool place to sit at night and watch the eiffel towers lights sparkle in the distance. To my surprise not a lot of people spent their time here.

A view of the eiffel tower in the background framed by the peace. 

Orchid enjoying her time here at the monument.

I had to get in on a picture too.

A few more well composed photos I took while at the peace wall.

As you can see the lawn area is almost always crowded. If you really want a good laugh, find a bench on the outer rim of the lawn and watch all the tourist try to take funny pictures in front of the tower. You will see groups of girls jumping in the air, a scrawny man pretending he is holding the tower above his head. It really is funny how corny people can be sometimes.

We finally arrived under the tower to begin our wait to take the stairs up. While we waited we noticed a lot of military men walking around with extremely large guns. A word of advise never take a picture with them. Since September 11th touristy locations have seen a huge rise in security and taking a picture of them can result in the loss of your camera as you may be seen as a threat.

Snapped a photo of us under the tower. One thing I would recommend is to save your souvenir money for The Louve. The Eiffel Tower souvenir shops and the surrounding shops are higher priced for the same items you could find elsewhere. The shops surrounding The Louve seemed to have the best price and the most variety. One thing you can do if you are courageous is to try and barter with the shop owners. We did a few times and it seemed to work. Be careful not to push the price too much or you may insult the owner and be asked to leave.

The view from directly under the tower is incredible as you can see each and every beam up to the second floor area.

We walked the first flight of stairs to the first base of the tower and took an elevator to the second. We could have went to the very top however, the line looked like it would take over 2 hours just to get up. Since we didn't come to paris to wait in lines we grabbed 2 pina colada drinks and enjoyed the view.

One of my favorite angles of the tower. Although it doesn't seem high from this image it would be about a 5 minute elevator ride to the top.

We just happened to come on a day that had a perfect amount of clouds for pictures. The scenery was vibrant and we really enjoyed our time walking around the tower.

Right around the corner is a park filled with ducks. If you have a baguette why not feed the birds and enjoy the view of the tower with the trees in the foreground.

Walk across the street and you will find a large amount of fountains and street performers. We watched some younger kids breakdancing and riding longboards as we enjoyed our nutella and banana crepe. 

More pictures to come of the tower. If you are interested in a photo to hang in your home feel free to comment on my blog or email me at: shererphotography@hotmail.com . I can give you custom fit prices and find the perfect size to accent your home.

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