Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Iron Lady

Probably the first image that comes to mind when one hears the word "Paris" is the Eiffel Tower, and no visit to the City of Lights would be complete without a pilgrimage to this massive, breathtaking, world-famous monument.

The Eiffel Tower - or Tour Eiffel aka La Dame de Fer ("The Iron Lady") en Francais - is an imposing pig-iron latticework tower originally built as an entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair. It was designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, who, along with sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, had previously co-fathered yet another Metal Maiden who greeted immigrants for over a century at the New York harbor:

The saucy French minx.

Despite the Eiffel Tower's current worldwide renown, initially many Parisians considered the bare metal plated structure as a monstrosity and an eyesore. Among its famous critics were composer Charles (Ave Maria, Faust, Romeo et Juliette) Gounod, the architect Charles (Opéra de Paris) Garnier, novelist Alexandre ("The Lady of the Camellias") Dumas, and Guy ("The Necklace") de Maupassant:

"Novelist Guy de Maupassant—who claimed to hate the tower—supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure." * 

Eiffel's tower originally only had a permit to stand for 20 years, and was supposed to be dismantled in 1909. However, it has endured as an iconic French landmark - the most-visited paid monument in the world - symbolizing not only Paris but the entire country as well.

Yo, Gustave, eiffel for your tower, dude! Awesome!

The Grand Iron Lady is a true Parisian landmark -
literally the tallest building in central Paris.

Pictures can't do justice to the breathtaking view from the base.

The view from the first elevator...

...that takes you to the second level.

Level 2 : Shoes and Bags. Actually, more like the gift shop
and restaurants.

I admit it, I  shot this tourist. But he didn't have the decency to topple over
the railing and plunge screaming to his death several meters below.


You have to take another, smaller elevator to the summit, 
but only if you have a ticket to the top.
 Otherwise, you stay on the second level with the other rabble.

Your eyes in the sky.

The Trocadero as seen from the summit.

Don't do it, baby! Life is good! I love you!

Paris way way down below.

Go ouest, young man.

I'm a long, long way from home.

Oh, and engel...

...your choice of gold or brass, monsieur.


  1. what about me, ruddie? haha, just teasing.

  2. The greatest monument of a phallus - The Eiffel Tower.
    I'm jealous. I wish I could have a miniature one, too.

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  4. dammit.

    where's my parisienne essential oils?

  5. Once upon a time, I asked someone to meet me in Paris. How fantastical no?

    He didn't come. I think we both knew what it would mean if he did, and he wasn't ready.

    I did it because I wanted to be able to tell him that, whatever happens, we'll always have Paris.

    Maybe one day, I'd walk those same streets but I won't be the same person.


  6. those mini-Eiffels look good in the photo. sometimes, in real, they don't.

    just a retort to Desole - check IFC 2 in HK, that one is the monumental phallus. ;-)

    (sana makabisita ulit sa paris...)

  7. hahahaha! i was about to say something pero biglang nawala nung nabasa ko comment ni kane! hahaha!

  8. @ ewik : Tumbling, right?

    I'll have a response to Kane's bittersweet comment in the next post or so.

    @ Kiks : Shhh! Tchotchkes and trinkets lose their magic when dissected in the cold harsh light of reality.

    @ Kane : I'd walk the Champs-Elysee with my bitterest enemy if it meant going back to Paris asap.

    You, of course, can imagine la difference when one is with a beloved, instead.

    But like that famous legendary river, one never steps in the same Paris twice.

    @ Ternie : You get Bangkok essential oils and you will enjoy them. Capisce?

    @ DB : Well, engel has first dibs on the keychains since he was brazen enough to ask for one when I got to France. Perhaps you can get the one he doesn't choose, eh?

    @ john stan : Teasing is for '60s hairdos.