I was researching for an article on the Eiffel Tower or Le Tour Eiffel as it’s called in France and someone asked me how many times I’d been to see it. “Mmm, not sure – a couple of times but only been up it once” I said. Later on I looked it up in my old photo albums I’ve actually been at least six times but definitely only climbed it once.
The Eiffel Tower is the cultural icon of Paris and France and it is undoubtedly an amazing sight but for those who don’t have a head for heights it could be a bit daunting. I am one of those people with no head for heights but I didn’t actually know it until I went up the Eiffel Tower at the age of 13 and almost passed out. Since then I’ve done the same thing going up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building and various other tall monuments but I can’t bear the thought of missing out so I force myself to do it. The worst experience was without doubt the Empire State Building, I came out on the viewing deck and it’s a one way promenade – believe me if I could have gone straight back into the building I would have but they wouldn’t let me. I was so terrified I crawled round on my hands and knees – I think they are probably used to it there as no one took a blind bit of notice of me.
Anyway, back to the Eiffel Tower – I love it! I know it is scarily high but every time you see it standing there in all its glory you get an overwhelming feeling of being in Paris, being alive and being in the presence of something that represents a nation.
I was lucky enough to find an old hall mirror Eiffel Tower souvenir at a brocante (street market/boot sale) last year – the lady selling it wanted €2.00 and I couldn’t resist it to hang in my hall which is still undergoing major renovation and it may be some time before the hooks fulfil their function.
I’m off to Paris in a few weeks’ time for some research and I may try to climb it again – I’ll let you know how it goes!A bientôt Janine