Head in the clouds

It would be quite a silly idea, if you were someone who had almost passed out whilst impulsively climbing the steps up some big hill in Lyon, to even consider taking on a much larger number of stairs less than a week later. No, you’d want to stay safely and contentedly on the ground, happy to look up, breathing regularly, sweating less dangerously, lungs still intact. That would be the sensible thing to do.

Still. You can’t go to Paris and not climb the Eiffel Tower, can you? The unfortunate thing about my apparent newfound enthusiasm for going up in the world is that I have chosen to do so in temperatures in excess of 30°C. This is unwise for a person who struggles with heat. A person like me, actually. It was so hot that they had huge fans spraying cold water all over the queues of waiting climbers at the bottom! Ascending stairs in the cold winter air is one thing – it can even help to warm you up, making it a beneficial exercise. But with the sun beating down on you and not a breeze to be felt on your burning skin? Probably wise to give it a miss.

So, up I went then.

And up, and up, and up…

I think I climbed quite close to the sun, as I was so hot by the time I reached the top that you could have barbequeued a couple of decent steaks on my face. Look, said my slim and agile couchsurfing hostess, looking cool and refreshed from her casual upward stroll, you can see Notre Dame over there! She pointed, and I tried to blink away the spots that were dancing merrily in front of my eyes. Oh yes, I gasped, clutching the railing with one hand and making a futile attempt to dry my forehead with the other, there it is!

Of all the traditional View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower photos that I took, impressive as that view was, my favourite shot is this one. Tiny little dots of people, safely on the ground, in full control of their breathing and with non-trembling legs. And that’s only from the first floor. The Eiffel Tower is Very Big. That’s my official travel writer’s description of the must-see landmark. Very Big. I should be getting paid a fortune for insights like these, you know.


10 thoughts on “Head in the clouds

  1. Very big indeed! Good on you for walking up – we took the lazy way and went by elevator. My hi-light (aside from the magnificent view) was seeing two cross dressing gentlemen who looked like Marilyn Monroe in ‘The Seven Year Itch’. (there was a breeze when we were there)

  2. MoNkEyMrS says:

    Well to comment on your comment, ‘you can’t go to Paris and not climb the Eiffel Tower’- we have just been to Paris and not climbed it!!!!!!! Mostly due to the fact that the crowds were huge and I didn’t really want to wait. Hope you haven’t purchased a tacky little tower at 1 euro, plenty of them around!
    Sorry Hails if I leave you disappointed in us!

  3. The Sister says:

    So did you actually make it to the top or just the first level..?

    When I was there I was full of good intentions to make it to the top…..didn’t quiet make it that far!!!

  4. bevchen says:

    We went to Paris and didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower. a) because it was new year and they were closing early and b) because I’ve been told it’s a waste of money (is it true that you have to pay for every level you want to go up?)

  5. McBouncy says:

    McLovely took me to Paris a few years ago. He was all into the sight seeing thing and we did a tour of Paris on an open top bus, getting out at every landmark. At the Eiffel tower he insisted upon going to the top! He made me climb to the first floor but then allowed me to take the lift to the top.
    Then, the not so lovely McLovely took me to Notre Dame and made me climb all 480ish stairs to the top, just so he could stand beside the bell and say “The bells, The Bells.” So original, but I still have the photo of him doing it.
    The thing I miss most about Paris is the fabulous French Onion soup we had in a quaint little place just beside Sacre coeur. Ahhh…..

  6. You can get the elevator all the way up, but it’s a lot more expensive. I couldn’t justify the cost! And I don’t know if you have to pay for each level – the initial €4 lets you up to the second floor, then you have to pay more but I don’t know how that works as I stopped before I got to that point!

    And EM – I love how she calls herself McBouncy on other people’s blogs, now! :)

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