Photos from Paris, France, Unloaded From Camera January 16, 2004  (January 16, 2004)


(Click on any of the thumbnails below to view the full-sized photo.)


This is a picture of train line No. 6, which goes to Bir Hakeim, one of the two closest stations to the Eiffel Tower.  Overall, I found the French train system to be manageable ... given a French-English dictionary, one can do OK.

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Photos of the tower at night at a distance ...

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Underneath the tower at night ...

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The entry to the Champ de Mars train station, the closest one to the tower (but rather awkward to get to from Cergy).

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Photos of the Bir Hakeim station at night.

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The Charles de Gaulle Etoile, waiting for the A train back to Cergy.  The Charles de Gaulle Etoile is a place where quite a few train lines come together.  In the case of getting from Cergy to the Eiffel Tower, it is the place where one disembarks the A train and gets on the No. 6 train.

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Look at this hard-core criminal at the train station ...

This is typical of the monitors around that give train arrival information.  What this essentially tells me is that I have 8 minutes to wait for the next train to Cergy ...

The local post office in Cergy-St. Christophe.  I've found that post offices in most countries have some things in common.  First, everybody complains about the postal service.  Second, the post office has some reference to a fast-moving bird; typically an eagle.  In the picture of the post office below, one can see the stylized blue bird above and to the right of entrance.

Another universal constant ... you must often pay for parking.

A street near the train station in Cergy-St. Christophe.

A kiosk for posting information ...

Near the train station ...

A pay toilet.  These are actually not a bad deal.  You put money in, and receive access to a toilet that is automatically washed after every use.  Still, they feel a bit odd ... the door closes automatically ... it feels a bit like robotoilet ... but they are always clean and far better than those portajohn things in use in the U.S., but you gotta pay.

Below is the coin acceptor for a different but similar model of toilet.

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This is a Chinese restaurant where Gordon and I sometimes obtained carry-out food.

 

Gosh, I wonder what this place sells ...

This is the mean and evil French bank that refused to wire money for me.  But, at least they give me change ...

Finally, we come to one of the most exciting parts of my little corner of France ... the laundromat.  It was always interesting to meet people here.  The signage wasn't too bad ... it is one of those bring your dictionary things.

   

Across the street was a discount store named Leader Price.  I believe they Frenglished the name:  they wanted to say Price Leader but in the French language (because of the possessive) it is more comfortable the other way around.

And now we go eiffeling.  I did this on a Friday.  The journey starts off at the Cergy-St. Christophe train station ...

I did find some interesting large posters at the Charles de Gaulle Etoille.

Yes, Beavis, we're almost there ...

Off the train and approaching the tower.

Waiting to go in the elevator to the second level ...

In the elevator ...

Photos of Paris from the second level (about 95 meters up, I believe) ...

Waiting in line for the elevator to the top ...

The top!

Note from the following photo, which is taken straight up, that there is a radio tower above the observation deck.  The top is not really the top.  I wouldn't want to be the guy who has to go and change the light bulb up there!

More photos from the top ...

 

Waiting for the elevator to go back down to the second level ... hey, I think they have had some problems with pickpockets ...

The elevator ride on the way down to the second level ...

More photos from the second level ...

The steel deck plating.  Most of the tower deck consisted of this.  The construction of the tower seems to be riveted and welded steel, and it seems solid as a rock.

Another hard-core bad person on the tower ...

Looking up from the second level ...

A photo from the second level ...

I decided to take the stairs down.  The approximate altitude was 100m, and even with gravity on my side, it was a long walk ...

Hey, KB was here!  Finally, some English on the tower.  Thanks, KB, whoever you are!

And continuing the descent ...

There were some mannequins on the tower illustrating what people do or have done.  I don't want his job!

I did not figure out what the plexiglass orb thing was!

I had a coffee and donut at a little cafe on the first or second level.

Looking down at one of the four corners ...

A silly American tourist taking a picture of his reflection in the tinted glass ...

More paying cattle in line to ascend the tower ...

The level I was now on (first level?) had a bar and restaurant named Altitude 95.  I'm assuming that means I was 95 meters above the ground (although it did not seem that high).

I believe this is a section of the original steel spiral stairway in place when the Eiffel Tower was built.  The section is preserved for historical reasons.  I believe the elevators were added later, and the spiral staircase was replaced with a safer staircase.

More silly American tourists ...

And now we begin the long trek down.  I could have taken the elevator, but with gravity on my side, why not take the stairs ...???

On the way down, I encountered three [foreign] tourists who had apparently decided to save money by climbing the tower manually.  I could see by their behavior that it was a longer vertical trek than they had imagined ... they were campers with aching legs ...

And the trek down continues ...

Finally, this is one place where the steel meets the ground.

And below the tower ...

 


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