Saturday, October 8, 2011

Paris day 1: Eiffel Tower at Night

The Metro, as we would discover again and again, is surprisingly easy to use. We transfered trains and chatted excitedly as the car barreled ahead through the darkness. Suddenly, “Oooohhh!” Pam pointed to the window behind me. I turned, and there it was. Our train had come out of a tunnel onto a bridge, and the Eiffel tower huge and magnificient glowed in the darkness before us. Our excitement was palpable as we exited and made our way up the street to the world’s most famous monument.

We stopped to buy a beret for Anna and a light up toy for Peter (yes Dad I know: “Don’t do that it will only encourage them!”) and then hurried onwards.

I don’t know what I expected. I don’t think I expected much. But standing beneath this massive metal structure lit up like a spaceship straight out of Battlestar Galactica was far, far above and beyond my expections. The monument was controversial and even hated at the time it was built, but I could not see how anyone could not love this beautiful tower. We wandered beneath, and when the hourly light show started at 9:00 we walked over to the adjacent park and lay down on the grass to watch. The light show is really just 5 minutes of sparkly lights, very bright like strobes, flashing all over and within the tower, as if it were filled with flash photographers at a fashion show. Just lovely.

We then walked across the street to a carousel, shelled out 3 euros a ticket to give the kids rides, and then back to the Metro station. On the ride home, a trumpet player wheeled an amplifier into our train car, started accompaniment tracks, and played several beautiful songs. We clapped for him (apart from the one other tourist on the train we were only ones who did so). We finished our ride back to the Chateau Rogue Metro station, to our apartment, and to bed.

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