Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower for Jordan

The following posting is by special request from Diane’s relative Jordon who is 8 years old (almost 9).  He was recently studying the Eiffel Tower at school.  His grandma Esther had us over for a great dinner (with birthday cake!) just before our departure, and Jordan requested that we send him a picture of the tower.  This is for you Jordan.

—————————————————————————————–

The Eiffel Tower is known in France as Le Tour Eiffel.  It is a large tower made of iron located in Paris, France.  Its nickname in French is La Dame de Fer (The Iron Lady).  It has become a symbol of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889.  That’s 15 of your lifetimes ago, but around the same time that your Grandma Esther was born.  It was built for L’Exposition Universelle (The World’s Fair) by engineer Gustave Eiffel, after whom it is named.  Originally it was disliked by many Parisians and so was almost torn down in 1909, but was spared because it turned out to be an ideal place for radio antennas.

The Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in France.  It is 320 meters tall which is about the same height as a 90 story building.  At the time it was built, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world.

About 7 million people go to the top of the Eiffel Tower each year.  You can walk up to the first two platforms of the tower but you must take an elevator to get to the very top.  It takes over 300 steps to reach each platform.  We decided to walk up because we needed the exercise!

Diane posing on a landing of the Eiffel Tower steps

Diane posing on a landing of the over 600 steps we climbed

Patrick climbing the steps of the Eiffel Tower

Patrick is hot on her heels!

The iron tower must be protected with paint to stop it from rusting.  It takes 50 to 60 tonnes of paint to cover it, and it must be painted every 7 years.  Would you like that job?  It is currently painted brown but they do change the colour occasionally.

Looking up from the base of the Eiffel Tower

Looking up from the base of the Eiffel Tower

The height of the Eiffel Tower changes with the temperature.  In the heat of summer it grows up to 15 centimeters taller as the metal expands.

Diane with umbrella in front of the Eiffel Tower

Diane in the rain in front of the Eiffel Tower

We hope that you have enjoyed this story about the Eiffel Tower.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the blog and we’ll write back to you.

My Birthday in Paris (Guest Post)

The following is a special ‘guest’ post written by my wife Diane. Thank-you Diane!  If you’d like to be a guest contributor, please contact me.

———————————————————————————-

Paris.  I have long dreamed of the day that I would visit this wonderful city.  I always envisioned it to be romantic, chic and alluring in a peaceful kind of way.  For me it was all of that.

Thanks to Patrick’s perfect planning we arrived in Paris on my birthday.  We got up early and took a train into Paris.  The 45 minute journey only helped to build my anticipation.  The weather was not the best (windy, cold and with rain on and off), but how could I complain when I was headed for Paris.

Of course our first day in Paris would not be complete without a tiny bit of excitement.  We began at a quaint café for a small bite to eat and some espresso.  A perfect way to start my day.  We ordered a toasted baguette sandwich (very French) and a café Americano (not so French).  We were ready to go with the coffee and baguette in hand, but had difficulty paying.   Neither our visa nor our bank card would work at this shop, and we did not have enough Euros with us as we hadn’t been to a bank machine yet in France.  The very nice man behind the counter (originally from Afghanistan and who spoke excellent English) told us where there was a bank machine.  Patrick set off and I waited.  And waited.  And waited.

Of course I drank my coffee, but thought I best hold off on the sandwich in case no money arrived.  Patrick was gone for what seemed like hours.  At one point the nice man said, “He’s gone a long time.”  I smiled and agreed, not sure what else to say.  What I was thinking was “do you want your sandwich back?”  After another 10 minutes went by the nice man said he thought I should go look for Patrick.  I really thought I should stay put.  There’s no use both of us being lost, but he was insistent.  So off I went.  I had no idea where I was going but thought I would walk around for a minute to make it look good.  I was relieved to see Patrick as I was heading back to the coffee shop.  It turns out that the two bank machines that he found (both from the same bank) would also not accept our debit card so he ended up having to take a small cash advance on his Visa.  We paid the nice man (he even reheated my sandwich), and we were finally off to see the Eiffel Tower.

Métro train arriving at an underground station in Paris

The Paris Métropolitain

It was a short subway ride from the café.  As we approached our stop I was really getting excited.  We exited the train and headed up the stairs to the street.  I turned around and there it was, larger than life.

Patrick and Diane in front of the Eiffel Tower

As I first lay eyes on this magnificent structure I gasped!  I am not sure what I expected but it was much bigger than I thought.  I wouldn’t call it beautiful though.  It’s an enormous metal structure painted brown.  For me the beauty came from its size, strength and view of the city.  There were huge lines to take the elevator, so we hiked up the stairs to the viewing platform, not letting the howling wind and rain deter us.  When we reached the top the view of Paris was stunning.  I loved it.

View North from the Eiffel Tower

View North from the Eiffel Tower

We spent the rest of the day wandering the famous boulevards of Paris.  We finished off the day with an incredible French dinner, some great wine and a lovely birthday kiss.  It was the best birthday.

A staircase leading to the Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background