We made it all the way to the lifts after waiting in line to get tickets for an hour, when they shut the Eiffel Tower down. Literally the doors closed in front of us as we were waiting on the little platform to go up. An announcement was made, and they said something was wrong on the second floor (main viewing deck) and everybody had to leave.
I'm standing there, already writing a much nastier post than this one, in my head....
There's a bunch of commotion, as expected, so everyone kind of shuffles down and out, because they said we can get a refund or come back again in the afternoon when they could open again. But since Tessa and I pretty much dedicated this whole day to see the Eiffel Tower, we just sat down and started to read. They'd open eventually.
For an hour and a half we read and ate rations from our backpacks, sitting on the platform for the lift. During the first twenty minutes or so, everyone but two people eventually left the building. The two who stayed with us the whole time were an American couple, so I talked with them a bit, and we tried to figure out what was going on. The lift kept coming, but only bringing people down.
So after this hour and a half, they make the four of us go downstairs to the porch of the building, still shady, but no more A/C. See, it was sunny and hot out all day. Not that I was complaining about the heat of 85 degrees and no clouds...
And, well, we finally find out what happened. Some guy on the second floor was trying to jump. My animosity toward the whole situation immediately evaporated.
The staff of the tower really were kind in the whole situation, and about 90% of the people did end up refunding. I don't know why the poor guy picked the one sunny day of the month to jump off the Eiffel Tower, but it wasn't really considerate of him. Anyway, as they were roping off sections of the square under the tower, we started wondering where you actually can jump off of...I mean, we did have a long time to contemplate all this. And I think they got him down because no police came or anything, it all ended quietly.
Eventually...we made it up to the top! And let me tell you, I was SO freaking out on the way up. Every 30 seconds or so i heard Tessa say, "Leah, unlock your knees."
The nice thing about having the Eiffel Tower emptied right before you go up...you're the first ones back and there's like no one up there! Which really reduces the chance of pickpockets and for sure makes it less crowded. We walked straight to the lift that goes to the very top, since the initial one only goes to the Jumping Guy floor.
Besides the complete terror and hyperventilating thing, it's really quite nice up there!! The day's heat turned to a nice breeze that high up, and I took lots of pictures once my sweaty hands managed to get the camera out of my bag.
After about 15 minutes up there we descended back to Jumping Guy floor, which has shops, a restaurant, bathrooms, touristy things. More pictures, and I started to get a little used to the height. Fewer freaking out moments.
From this floor you can take the stairs down, so we did just that. It's 42 stories so it took a long time, but after all that waiting and standing and sitting, we figured we needed the exercise.
Today turned out a lot more interesting than we expected, so I'm sort of glad this post isn't just "Yay we went to the Eiffel Tower!" ;)
Tomorrow we are going on a tour of the Catacombs in the morning, and our flight leaves in the evening, to Estonia.
I remembered to take a lot of phone pictures this time:
"I'm going up that thing?"
I think this is from the top...?
From Jumping Guy floor:
Selfie with Tessa's fingers photo-bombing, which made me laugh:
This ice cream is three times more expensive as Cold Stone; the flavor was "biscuit" and it literally tasted like a tasty biscuit.