It was my first time in Paris. It was my first time in Europe. I promised myself I would make every moment count on this well deserved month long backpacking trip. I will be open minded, relish every moment whether they are good and not-so good, and when things turn to worst I will face it headstrong and just charge it to one of the many life lessons.
Disoriented from a long-haul flight, there I was, standing early morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport along with the many passengers of Air France waiting by the baggage carousel only to be advice that due to security reason all check-in bags will be put on hold, oh what a welcoming start!
Two hours later, I was reunited with my beloved backpack and I was eager, very eager to leave the airport and see Paris, but first I headed straight to the Tourist Info Desk located at the airport, purchased the Paris Museum Pass and RER B train ticket bound for Gare du Nord along with t10 metro tickets. It was a quick and smooth transaction with the information staff, for I came ready and knew exactly what I want, the benefits of googling things in advance.
Another hour trip from the airport to 3 Ducks Hostel located in Metro Félix Faure, the autumn weather seems to be turning into one drizzly afternoon but I was hoping that the the hourly forecast at my Weather Channel app will be accurate for once, for I was bound to spend my very first day in Paris by visiting the city most famous landmark- The Eiffel Tower.
With annual visitors of almost 7 million yearly, the 324-meters high Eiffel Tower is the epitome of everything a foreign visitor associate the city of Paris with.
I’ve seen Burj Khalifa, been inside Tokyo Sky Tree and had my photo taken with Taipei 101 but I must agree that Eiffel Tower exudes both architectural flourish and romantic ambiance that never fails to impress. If there is ever a beauty contest among the tallest skyscrapers and towers in the world, Eiffel Tower should win the award.
To go inside Eiffel Tower is one tiring affair. Queuing for an hour minimum to purchase the ticket particularly on peak summer months is common, so the best option to avoid the queue is by buying the ticket online in advance which basically allows visitor to enter the tower on a faster, dedicated lane on a specific time chosen.
When purchasing ticket either online or on the spot, few questions need to be consider- Do you want to take the lift or stairs? Do you want the lift entrance ticket to the Summit (276-meters high) or to the 2nd floor (115-meters high) only? Or do you want to go to 2nd floor first and later on can decide to purchase a separate ticket to enter the topmost part?
Here is the view from the Eiffel Tower at 115-meters vantage point.
I walked around the Eiffel Tower trying my best to capture the magnificent tower from afar, at all angles possible. I was stopped many times by other tourist particularly by couples who wanted a romantic photo with the tower and I obliged with no hesitation ensuring that they will go home with a photo they wanted, at the same time realizing that I too eventually will be needing help from strangers, since in the past hours I have proven to myself that my selfie ability is none.