The Eiffel Tower was larger than I'd expected.
(Okay, so most of landmarks of Paris were larger than I'd anticipated (except for the Mona Lisa which was as small as I'd thought.))
Beyond its huge size, I was impressed with the lovely details in its construction. The little swooshes and curlicues tickled my little brain. This addition of art and beauty into every detail were themes that I kept coming back to through out my week.
This is one of the double decker elevators that take you up to the first observation deck. You wait in a huge line under the tower to pay and then enter one of the legs of the tower. There you squash into one of two levels of the elevator to ride a diagonal path into the heart of the tower.
From that first level, half way up the tower, I could gaze out at the city and spot our apartment. (It's to the left of the construction scaffolds.) And then, we waited in a second huge line to go up further, in a second more linear elevator.
Which is where we spotted this guy, working either the best, coolest job in the world, or the worst, most horrible job, depending on your feelings about heights and harnesses.
And then, after a bit of stair work, you can gaze out at Paris spread beneath you with all of its (or "her" depending on your feeling about city gender) spokes and angles laid out for your approval. Have I mentioned how huge Paris is? How impressive, and intimidating, and overwhelming it is? They sell champagne by glass at the top of the tower in case you need a bit of a liquid courage before you set off to see the many sights. There is so very much to see and soak in. Quite a challenge, let me tell you.
Instead of a glass of bubbly, we headed to a cafe for lunch (Salade Nicoise) and then back to the apartment for a predinner/post jetlag nap.
Pulling myself out of bed, we ventured out for dinner. I had a perfect potato omelet, with fluffy eggs wrapped around crisp golden potato cubes which may have been browed in duck fat (but I was too glazed to ask). For dessert the table shared a slice of Tarte Tatin and a Creme Caramel. Then it was back home, where I stayed upright until 10 pm and then collapsed into bed. Day one, complete.
(A note about Tarte Tatin. The caramelized apple tart is a dessert I want to love. The theory seems so sound! But the hazards of burnt caramel or tough crust or mushy apples impede my search for that moment of bliss I'm sure it should carry. Still the research is pretty awesome, and there are definitely worse quests to set yourself. This Tarte Tatin was good, but not the end all.)