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.