La Tour Eiffel Paris Reviews
The Centerpiece of Paris Jul 16, 2008
This is a review about the Eiffel Tower, but rather than go with the tourist crowd numbering over 100 reviews, I am making mine under "La Tour Eiffel", which is its real name in the French. I'm not being a snob here and it is an iconic sight to see in Paris, but I wanted to say something different about it, so decided to distinguish it by using the French name for my review. I trust this is an acceptable approach and maybe you will enjoy my perspective in a somewhat different viewpoint.
I've been to Paris a couple of times, and visited La Tour Eiffel on both occasions. On my first visit in 1999, it was lit up at night for the coming Y2K - pretty impressive! But aside from the tower itself, what I found more intriguing was the perspective of Paris from here. I saw symmetry in the man made structures beyond, shadows reflecting defiance to the straight line below and experienced a rain storm too, followed by a double rainbow across the city. That rainstorm cost me a trip to Versailles, but it was worth it!
It may well be the biggest tourist trap in Paris, but like any tourist trap, it's ultimately what you make of it yourself that really matters. During that rainstorm (before the rainbow) I had time to examine the graffiti written on the tower. There's quite a lot of it and I recommend this as an activity to engage in. They paint it every so often, so it's something to capture in thought while you are there, and know it will change in time.
My next visit to Paris was nearly a decade later in 2008. I purposely booked one night at a hotel nearby on my arrival for the first night just to see the tower and found there are some interesting views of it from the surrounding neighborhoods. On this second visit I saw there was also some interesting surroundings near La Tour Eiffel. Trocadero Gardens is splendid with the Fountains of Varsovie, and there are many statues to enjoy here too, with good photo perspectives of La Tour Eiffel as well. Here's a nice link on Trocadero (http://www.paris-walking-tours.com/jardindutrocadero.html)
Particularly nice are the statues "L'Homme" (The Man) by Pierre Traverse on the west side and "La Femme" (The Woman) by Daniel Bacqué on the east side. Some nice statues in gilded bronze decorate the fountains - "Taureau et Daim" (Bull and Deer) by Paul Jouve and "Chevaux et Chien" (Horses and Dog) by Georges Guyot. It's easy to make La Tour your focus, but remember to pay attention elsewhere too. This is something I learned on my second visit, and really is good advice for any place you visit.
Looking for places near La Tour Eiffel to eat after it takes your breath away and gives you an appetite? Walk down the Champs de Mars to Av. St Joseph, take a left, and on crossing Av. de la Bourdonnais, you will find some restaurants down rue Saint Dominique. There are many places near here, and 'Cafe Constant' is one I liked (139, rue Saint-Dominique). It's small, intimate (seating close to other diners), but the food is excellent. There are other places nearby too and right next door it was empty when I arrived, but I was told that it was booked full for dinner!
Well, that's my take on La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower). Maybe next time I visit Paris I will explore the Trocadero Gardens more and give a complete review on that by itself...
Part of the City of Light (1999, 2008) travel blog
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