After getting thoroughly distracted by the coypu and the ensuing google dash to figure out its orgins (along with the cute little French child who was intent on catching a canard/duck and was telling his grandmother all about it as he slowly waddled after the vaguely concerned ducky), we finally made our way back into the center of the Eiffel Tower, where we looked around for a few minutes, took a few snaps (because the architecture is gorgeous, despite how much Eiffel got mocked for putting a giraffe in the center of Paris), and then grabbed our tickets (which we had been ever so righteous about and pre-purchased online, which was a good thing, too) and began our trek up.
In all truth, we were being slackers because we were taking the elevator instead of making ourselves climb the 1,700 stairs of the Eiffel Tower. We blamed it on all the coughing we were (still) doing (I didn’t tell you about the trips to the pharmacies, because those were no fun!), but that was probably only half of it. The other half of it was the idea of climbing that high in the sky was daunting and neither of us were up to even attempting it. So we gave up before we began and took the elevator, which was almost like something out of a steampunk story. Ok, fine. The entire tower would fit in a steampunk story, but no one thinks about that because it is already part of our public consciousness.
Anyway, we crowded into the elevator, and it began going up. Going along with the steampunk theme, there’s a little bit of Willy Wonka, too, as the elevator does not go straight up (which makes sense when you think about it, but you don’t think about it when you’re stepping into an elevator: you just expect it to go up). Instead, it goes diagonally. To go up to the third level (that’s the very tippy top of the tower, where there is also a Very Expensive Restaurant) you have to get on yet another elevator, and that one does go straight up and down. That was sold out, so we decided to cut our losses, and just go to levels one and two, which, as it turned out, were plenty.
We had to get off on the first level before going to the second, because the elevator goes straight back down from the second level and does not stop at the first. Thus, we piled off and began looking. It was, of course, pretty impressive, but it was also cold (remember, running shoes!) and it was also beginning to mist quite a bit, so we wandered around a bit, then went up to the second level, which included all the tourist-trappy shops and a place to grab some warm drinks (which incidentally also featured the worst coffee I’ve had yet in Paris).
But the views–well, despite the rain, they were magnificent. You do feel like you’re standing at the top of the city and looking through it all. I am definitely glad we went to the Arc de Triumphe at night, because seeing the Eiffel Tower light show from there was amazing, and I would love to see how the city twinkles at night from the Tower, but if I had to choose, I would go during the day. Granted, it was not particularly clear, but you could still make out the items of interest, and…well, it just all looks so tiny. And I’m fairly sure that’s impressive to people other than myself, despite my tall complex.