Wow, what a day. We left the apartment at 1pm and returned at 9pm with at least five miles of walking including hundreds of stops on these tired, weary feet. BUT, we had some amazing good luck and achieved all that we set out to accomplish. The weather when we left was cold and drizzling rain and stayed that way for much of the afternoon.
We wanted to see for ourselves about the the first floor of the Eiffel Tower and whether it was indeed glass, and we wanted to capture the tower illuninated in pink for breast cancer awareness month. When we arrived at the tower about 1:45, we took a look at the LONG line and said, “no way.” We decided just to meander along the Champs de Mars, rue St. Dominque and rue Cler. We had what is Bernie’s favorite kind of day, just strolling along, stopping and starting to look in shops, having a refreshment break along with restroom stops, etc. About 4:30, I suggested we try again at the Eiffel Tower to see if we might be able to go up. Just as we were approaching, the sky opened up, the rain disappeared and suddenly it was gorgeous outside. The line was almost nothing and took us maybe 15 minutes max to get into the elevator. The view from the second level was breathtaking as the light from the recent burst of sun was like someone had painted the buildings with brushstrokes of shimmering glory. We had to walk down amost 300 steps to the first level which was kind of spooky (not for those who are afraid of heights).
The glass floor is actually a bit of a misnomer. There are small sections at the edge of the floor which are glass all the way around and it takes some real trust to step onto it. One of our pictures of the largest section is blurry but I’m including it anyway so you can get the gist of the arrangement. Also some wonderful shots of the panorama of Paris.
We checked out the entire first floor, observing that the new restaurant is not cheap, with the dinner menu starting at 75 euros per person! So the thought of eating dinner there was quickly aborted, and we made our way down. Sounds like I am making this up, but just as we got down to the ground level, dark clouds started swirling and we were fearful of cold rain again. We raced all the way across the Tracodero to the other side to eat at a restaurant called Le Wilson. We were starving from all the exercise, and had a very good meal. About 7:45, we walked back over to the good viewing spot of the Eiffel Tower fully hoping that it would be pink. It was not and we both looked at each other and said, “What do we do now?” I told Bernie to stay right at that spot, and I would go try to find out when the tower was scheduled to go pink. I walked around to an area with a pink carpet where some official gathering for breast cancer awareness had taken place. I asked a very nice young man if he knew, and he pointed to a lady standing nearby who was the organizer. How lucky for me! I used my best “excusez moi, madame” and asked her if she knew when the tower would turn pink. She said she thought about 8:30. I raced back over to Bernie who had obediently stood in the exact same spot as when I left him. It was 8:10 and we were SO tired, but decided that another 20 minutes wouldn’t kill us. I’m so glad we waited. Here are the breathtaking picutres. The fountains also came on pink; there was a laser light show accompanied by Beethoven. O-la-la, only in Paris! You guessed it: the clouds had lifted and the weather was once again clear and crisp.
Enjoy our unforgettable adventure.