Sunday, November 20, 2011

[L.E.P.A.K series: Paris] Chap 15: Up, up and away Eiffel

We're finally at our most exciting part of our one day trip in Paris. Oh boy, oh boy! First, we rode the metro from Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, located right under Arc de Triomphe to Bir-Hakeim, which was one of the two nearest stops to Eiffel Tower. That shot up there, right on top of this post is a shot that Cik Anai took from the train we were in. 

 From Bir-Hakeim, we took a scenic walk along the Seine River and passed by many 'illegal' roadside peddlers selling all things Eiffel. From key chains to small, medium, big displays of the tower, this is the best spot to buy your souvenirs. We were pretty happy when we found the stalls here were selling the key chains at a better price than those at the underground pathway of Arc de Triomphe. With that we bought them from a stall without much hesitation only to find the stalls far down offered an even more better deal. Dang. So the moral of the story is to never buy from the first nor second nor third stall. Hahaha. Go waaaaay down down down and you will get waaaay low low low price. :P

And finally we're here! Time for a smile and say 
"Hey! I'm in front of the Eiffel Tower." :D 

 After a lot of look-see look-see around we finally joined the extremely long queue at 
the ticketing counter. :( What a bummer to spend most of the afternoon waiting in line. 
First you line up for your tickets, then you have to line up for the lift that takes you up to 
the first level and, and! If you're heading up to the very top, that's another snake around 
the lift area. Boo. No fun. 

 But wait we have to, and wait we did.

We were then squeezed into a little lift that takes us up, up and away!

"Hello, people down there. It's cold up here and I'm only half way there."

The view at this level was total unobstructed. So you can marvel away at the 360º view of Paris. However it of course did not stretch out as far as what you will get at the very top.

Another 45 minutes of waiting later, we were finally at the very top of Eiffel. Sadly, it's dangerous to be that high and windy without any safety precaution. Thus the ugly wire mesh all around. :( The view here though was amazing!

To the extend that if you zoom in close enough, you will the Arc de Triomphe right there.
Who says all roads lead to Rome? The way I see it, they're all heading towards Paris. :P

 Now the top level is not very big, duh. So we managed to round the place for about twice, taking some photos with Paris behind us when we decided to split up. How bad can it be right? It's just a little space. No way to get lost here right? So here I am at one side of the tower and Cik Anai at the other when I heard a little commotion going on. What? What? Before I had any idea what was going on, I was ushered down to the lift area by a security guard telling us that we need to leave immediately. 



 I'm missing my partner! I quickly explained that I had a friend up there but the guard insisted that I need to go and the others will come down real soon. 

 Umm... okay... 


 And Cik Anai appeared! Hooray. Except we did not have any time to say our 'hoorays' when we were once again told to line up and leave. Now that we're together again, our thoughts head off to other more 'interesting' stuff. 

 Like why are we leaving? 

 I paid 13 euros to be here and now you're asking me to leave after an hour and a half of waiting and barely 30 minutes of sightseeing? How can? How can? Are they just trying to get rid of us so that other people can have their turn at the top of the tower? 

 Umm... wait... the staff and guards are looking worried and they're staring everywhere. 


 Is there a bomb?!?!!

Gotta go! Gotta go! Everyone move.
 And finally when we were at the bottom, look at what was awaiting us.

Look at all that police cars!!
And look at us still thinking about taking a photo. :P If we're going to die *choi choi choi*, we might as well remember every second of it. Now leaving the tower wasn't enough, we were told to leave the entire vicinity. What's more, the enforcement people blocked the roads all around, including the way we came from Bir-Hakeim. Noooo... we had no choice but to divert from the plan. Ahhh!!!

 Alright. I think I have made my point clear.

With that, we found ourselves at Trocadéro Gardens instead. No plans, no pre-planned guide on what train to sit, no idea where the metro was even. All because of a bomb scare. It can't get more excited than this. Well, I guess we just have to make do with what we can do.

Regardless of the situation, we shouldn't let a good shot go to waste, right? 

 Luckily, my months of research had somehow managed to prepare me for this. Muahahaha. Crazy obsessive planning for the win! You see, although the map in our 32-page itinerary cuts off at the Seine River, I was the one who cropped it. So I sort of knew what was at across the river. Thus, I can agak-agak assure Cik Anai that I agak-agak know where we were at.
"Don't worry. Stay calm. We can do this." 

Except when we finally found the entrance to the Metro,
it was closed for construction!! 


 Why lah? WHY? :( 

 Luckily the other entrance down to the Metro is within eye-shot. Before we took off to our next destination, we decided to slow down our pace, stop and appreciate some street art.

Mr Scuffy Man at work. 
 Can you see me in the picture, taking another picture of Mr Scuffy Man. Hehe.

And here’s the picture from my angle. :) 
Can you see Cik Anai in this photo, taking the above picture from her angle.

 Next up: More art coming your way... meeting Mona Lisa. :)

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