[ ... like little tin toys ]
I fell asleep on the bus for what felt like a few minutes, but looking out the window when I woke up, the sprawling French hills of farmland and vineyards [we drove through Champagne, France!] had now become industrial city. As a matter of fact, if you were just dropped there, from the highway entering the city, you wouldn’t realize that you were in Paris. A bit more driving, and the industrial and business centers transformed into the intricate bridges over the Seine that one would expect. Two left turns, and unexpectedly there was Notre Dame, right there to my left – wow, I am in Paris… that was Notre Dame.
There was so much to see, obviously, and very short time. We arrived in Paris at 1 pm on Saturday, and essentially we had until 1 pm the following day before we departed back to Saarbrücken.
We actually didn’t drive too much further, since we were all dropped off in front of a very tall building for an opportunity to go to the observation area on the roof. We all took advantage of the opportunity, and for €11 we took an elevator up to the top floor of the building.
Out the elevator and up more steps, we arrived on the silent concrete roof of the skyscraper where a lot of wind was blowing and a bit of a drizzle began. That didn’t faze me at all however, because, there it was – The Eiffel Tower, proudly dominating the huge 360 view I had of all of Paris. I was probably squealing like a little kid – wow! That is it.
To have your first view of the Tower be from an aerial view requires you to take a moment and realize what you are seeing. It is the entire city of Paris beneath you criss-crossed in shades of white and grey and dotted with green trees and parks and there, like a small little tin toy, the Eiffel Tower darts the skyline as if I was staring at Google Earth – You are here; in Paris!
[ Paris is the city of love... ]
[ Don't worry - I am loved too ! ]
With our guides out, we circled the rest of the roof pointing and searching – like where is waldo –
Where is the Arc de Triumph?
One landmark that didn’t need any direction to point out was the Louvre. Seeing the entire fortress-of-a-museum that it is, especially from above, it cannot be argued that it is as big and long as some of the streets surrounding it.
The scene was beautiful. Realizing that it was grey and rainy was something I only noticed later. I was too excited on the roof. Overwhelmed actually too. With the Louvre as an example, which requires days or weeks to really appreciate, we had less than a day to cover everything that we were staring down at as if it were all dollhouses.