The Eiffel Tower in Paris is beyond any doubt the most recognizable landmark of Paris. It was not the same in the beginning, after the tower was erected in 1889. Many Parisians saw it as a sore thumb, which ruined the landscape of Paris. The famous author Guy de Maupassant deeply detested it.
But as it happens with any new landmark, people gradually learned to like it. It soon became the symbol of Paris, visible in brochures, photos and countless other materials promoting the city. Even Adolf Hitler, after he conquered France, didn’t miss the opportunity to be photographed in front of the tower. Selfies didn’t exist Hitler’s times, but a selfie with the Eiffel Tower in the background will be a picture mandatory to see in the Canadian press when our homegrown idiot Justin Trudeau visits Paris.
During the day, the Eiffel Tower is a dull dark structure, which impresses mostly with the mastery and ingenuity of the people who created it. At night, however, it becomes lively and looks magnificent due to its lights. I am not sure how that works, but the latter are arranged in a way that provides countless variety of colours (moving and static) with different intensity that can switch in ways that convey different colour messages.
We visited it two days ago, right after France switched to summer time, and when we arrived it wasn’t that dark.
The Eiffel Tower is open to the public – they have access to its different levels at different prices. In daytime, climbing it by foot or “ascenseur” is a good idea because of the breathtaking panorama of Paris that can be observed from the top. At night, however, all you can see are the city lights, so we skipped that part. Still, there were many people lining up for tickets to climb the tower.
We spent the time walking around to take pictures from different angles and distances. Despite the late hour, people kept coming. As with every large gathering of tourists, here also you can’t avoid the inevitable small merchants and thieves. There were quite a few pushy flower sellers taking advantage of the romantic bug that affects the visitors of Paris.
Others (mostly black guys) walked around carrying their wares on strings. And they are only two types – selfie sticks that fit most phones and small metal replicas of the Eiffel Tower in different colour (all made in China). In the park behind the tower I spotted two Arab guys selling bottles of wine, placed on the muddy alley (it rained the whole day, but it stopped at sundown). They were charging 10 euro per bottle. Other than the fact that wine is haram in Islam, it is worth noting that the local wine in France could be extremely cheap. You can get a relatively good bottle of wine for as little as 1.50-3.00 euro (heavily subsidized agriculture is one of the gifts of the European “Soviet” Union to the French farmers).
The other category is not as visible as the vendors. The thieves around the tower are mostly gypsy pickpockets (often from Romania or Bulgaria). They usually work in groups – some distract the target, while the others clean his or her pockets and purses. They are very creative in their methods and that could be a theme for whole new article. I had a close call in the subway when such a thief almost snatched my camera. Right now France is under terror alert and groups of heavily armed soldiers patrol most tourist places and streets. That seems to give second thoughts to the gypsies and they are less active in such places.
Fortunately, the government is still capable of keeping the façade of Paris relatively clean. The hordes of rapists and other criminals that Frau Merkel imported by the millions have reached France, but they are not visible in Paris. They live mostly in the Muslim ghettoes and the outskirts. I planned to visit such a vibrant Muslim neighbourhood, but was strongly discouraged from doing so. In a nutshell, one can lose his camera and end up badly beaten in the process.
Now is the time to visit Paris – in a few years from now the tide of Muslim barbarians could turn that magnificent city into a new Palmyra. The Eiffel Tower may survive as the world’s tallest minaret.
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