“11 pm sharp!”, our guide said, “If you miss the bus, you will have to make your own way to the hotel.“
We understood. No time to waste. The Eiffel Tower, glistening in all her glory, was waiting for us!
Maybe the Eiffel Tower is `male` but somehow I doubt it. Only a woman can look so beautiful!
We left a small group behind. So sad, really. I guess this is normal when you get towards the end of your trip – people were running out of money.
No time to dwell on that now. We had exactly 1 1/2 hours to make it to the top before the bus picked us up.
I could give you all the statistics and information about this historical landmark but not today. For one last time I would like to saviour each memory and feeling… before I close this chapter. Who knows when I will ever be able to visit Paris again – if ever.
For a brief moment I stood underneath the giant steel structure. I looked up and what I saw, nearly took my breath away. Layer after layer of cold steel, warmed up by lights and moaning underneath the heavy weight. Did I hear her squeak? What a burden to carry, I thought to myself.
No time to wait…we need to get to the top!
So many people,so few elevators! The clock was ticking..the waiting game had started. Finally the doors opened and we piled like sardines into the elevator. All manners forgotten. Up and up we go, clawing our way up the iron lady.
The doors opened and finally we were at the top. With a shock we realized we had 30 minutes to admire the view, take photos and make our way down! The bus was waiting…time not!
I went up to the iron bars and took a peek at the city below. I had the most amazing view of Paris – the city of light! Our guide was right. But tonight it was the city of love. Couples cuddled up and watched the city go by. Love was in the air!
I could stand here the whole night, I thought to myself.
No time..tic-tac, tic-tac….
Come guys! We have to go!”, I heard somebody shouting.
We made our way down to the 2nd floor. We waited and waited but no free elevator. We started to panic. Panic often brings along a brainwave and the next moment we found ourselves dashing down the stairs with boisterous laughter.
In my madness I tried to count the stairs. I stopped counting at 800. The Eiffel Tower has between 1665 and 1710 stairs in total!
We caught our bus just in time!
I have a few regrets…one of them the time constraint. I wanted to see more. I wanted to breath the air of Paris, fill my lungs with her awesomeness. So many things I didn`t do. I wish I had a better camera. I didn`t take enough photos. Bottom line: I wanted more time.
Tic..toc..goodbye Eiffel Tower….
Maybe some day I will be able to embrace your beauty once more.
I know you are waiting for my return…..
Place: Paris, France
Date: 8 April 2004