I just arrived in Paris. Instead of going to the hotel we take our city orientation tour and then to the Eiffel Tower. It’s a a bit colder than expected but it’s OK because it’s Paris. The sun is peaking out from time to time and provides a bit of warmth. It’s a bit windy standing below the Tower and when the sun is covered by the clouds it feels 10 degrees colder. Pashmina don’t fail me now. Actually on of our group members is wearing his wifes bright orange pashmina. He says, I don’t know what a pashmina is but it’s keeping me warm and right now I don’t care that it’s bright orange. Looking up at the Eiffel Tower it appears to move because of the effects of the clouds passing by. I’m trying to get the right angle to fit the tower into a picture. With the right tilt it works.
Our tour begins and is the behind the scenes tour so we start in one of the working tunnels. It’s a world of it’s own. Pieces from inside of the tower show how its made. Workers are coming in and out and we learn about the how food, materials and the construction is transported and the vast and many tunnels that exist beneath the Tower.
After our underground excursion we head to the East Tower to enter the Eiffel Tower itself. Unfortunately, there is a delay. The staff have walked out but instead of leaving they are having a meeting with management and we’re told it’s because of being understaffed. Our entrance tickets are for 10:30am and it’s now 11:00am so we’re not sure what time business will resume but we’re assured business will resume. Our tour company is busy trying to sort things out. We’re also to have lunch at noon at 58, one of the Eiffel Towers restaurants. Now, I’m getting nervous, I have 70 people standing in line anxiously waiting to visit the Eiffel Tower and to have lunch. We get a call that the director will come to get our group and take us to the restaurant and we will tour afterwards. We feel so special as we are escorted ahead of the line and allowed to enter. Then the rest of the staff arrive and everyone who was in line including those who were there since 9am are allowed to enter.
We go through a side door and down the stairs to view the mechanisms of the Eiffel Tower. It’s amazing how the Tower is constructed and what it takes to maintain it.
The hunger pangs are knocking and we are ready to get in out of the cold, have a seat and a wonderful meal. We’re having a three course lunch with wine. We start with duck and foie gras terrine, followed by seared salmon with marscapone foam and finish with a meringue. It’s all delicious and paired with the fantastic views from the restaurant this is an awesome way to experience the Eiffel Tower.
Heading back to the hotel for some much needed rest and to try and track my luggage that did not arrive. This is another story and another blog post.
Until tomorrow…we’re visiting the Louvre!
Ja’Vonne Harley, Host, The Traveling Eye