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December 19, 2013

Paris: Eiffel Tower


The Eiffel Tower viewed from the Arc de Triomphe

The Eiffel Tower viewed from the Arc de Triomphe

According to Flickr, the Eiffel Tower is the world’s most photographed landmark.  I guess it is not a surprise that such a visible and iconic monument in Paris, one of the most visited cities in the world, would achieve this distinction.  The Eiffel Tower is, after all, the most visited monument in the world.

So does a structure that has been photographed so completely need more exposure?  Probably not but with a camera in hand it is hard to avoid adding a few more shots onto the pile.

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My visit in November was my first to Gustave Eiffel’s creation in more than twenty years.  I was reminded just how massive the tower is.  The Eiffel Tower just does not look that large in pictures and souvenir shop models.  Standing at its base between the foundations it is hard to believe that original plan was to dismantle the structure twenty years after it was constructed.  It is even harder to believe that there was a secret plan to disassemble the Eiffel Tower, ship it to Montreal Canada, and reassemble it in time for Expo 67.  Imagine the postage to send a twenty million pound structure from France to Canada.

If you visit the Eiffel Tower don’t forget your camera.  Yes, it is true.  The world does not need another picture of Eiffel’s tower.  But why should you be denied the pleasure of snapping your own photo?  And don’t forget to book your ticket to the upper levels a week or two in advance.  Even in rainy and cool November, the walk-up lines to access the upper levels were hours long.

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