Did you know you can climb iron stairs right up into the iconic Eiffel Tower? On previous visits we had taken the elevator, which whisks you up to the two view levels. On our last visit, we decided to try something different and take the stairs. This proved to be a fun decision!
The Eiffel Tower is much more massive in person than I had imagined from photos. The four feet are planted firmly in the ground and far apart. Standing under the tower, you can see the first level where there’s a restaurant protected by a plexiglass wall.
You hear that it is 1,000 feet high and the statistic flits right out of your head. But when you stand dwarfed underneath it, you experience how tall that really is! Here we are, ready for the climb. We bought our tickets without asking how many steps we were committing to do. It was better that we didn’t know. So – ready to climb!
What’s great about walking up is that you can see the tower up close and personal and stop as often as you want (or whenever you need to catch your breath). The design is complicated and intricate, far more than it appears from a distance. The metal is held together with more than 2 million rivets. These metal pieces, each so small, work together to hold up the massive structure. And it’s been standing since 1889, when it was presented to France for the one hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution. A section of the original staircase from 1889 is preserved.
And then you have the views. The tower provides two viewing levels, and when you take the stairs, you have unlimited places to look through the tower, too. Here are some of the unobstructed sights. The wind whipped around the tower, but it was a warm day so we didn’t mind. If you are thinking of a career change, here’s an idea for you — Eiffel Tower maintenance crew. You can hang out far above Paris and even lean back and take photos because you wear a harness. Not for those with fear of heights. When we got back down, I asked the nice young lady selling tickets how many steps we took. Oh, 700 each way. Whew! We did take many “breaks” to enjoy the views, so it wasn’t that taxing. I highly recommend this way to experience the Eiffel Tower.
Fun fact: Originally painted a dark red, the Eiffel Tower has sported different colors through the years. It was once yellow, and now it is a specialty color developed in 1968 called “Eiffel Tower Brown.” Painters use 60 tons of paint to refresh the tower every seven years. The paint is in three shades, with the lighter tones higher, which enhances the tower’s silhouette in the Paris sky.
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