Last week, I went up the Eiffel Tower for the first time and it was just as impressive as I'd imagined. Built between 1887 and 1889, by French engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It features prominently on many an Instagram feed and Paris memorabilia would be incomplete without it!
The Tower was originally offered to the city for 20 years - designs submitted by Eiffel and his team were for the opening of the 1889 World Fair marking the centenary of the French Revolution. This was considered enough time for accrued debts to be paid off: the tower cost around 30 million euros to build and Gustave paid his debt off within 6 months. In other words, ka-ching.
Construction took over 2 years, 300 men and 18,000 pieces to assemble - an extraordinary engineering feat - and exceeded the Washington Monument as the highest man-made design. Once completed, the general Parisian reaction was negative: considered an eyesore for the capital with people reportedly going out of their way to avoid it. The hearts of tourists and expats have been conquered however, with a whopping 6.9 million visitors recorded in 2015.
Why am I suddenly spouting facts about this Parisian landmark? Well I took the tour with Fat Tire, the approachable (and experienced) tour company who run a wide choice of bike and segway tours in Paris, and its surrounding areas. With our trusty tour guide, Laura, my group skipped the excessive queues and headed straight up to the 2nd floor in the original yellow lifts.
Equipped with headsets, the group ran no risk of getting lost (there are A LOT of people up there) and took in the landmarks whilst Laura regaled us with the tower's glittering history. Next, we took another lift - I had to close my eyes for this one - to the summit where we had plenty of time to take a selfie / Instagram worthy photo! We then regrouped to identify important French landmarks, such as Invalides and the Grand Palais, discovering their roles in the history of Paris. Highly enjoyable and practical, the tour takes around 2 hours, which leaves you plenty of time to discover more of the beautiful city! If you're interested to explore their Paris tour selection here you go!
*GIVEAWAY TIME*. I've partnered with Fat Tire, offering you the opportunity to win a Paris Day Bike Tour for 2, valid throughout 2017! Just head over to my Instagram and share your favourite Parisian memory in the comments of this photo. If you've never been to Paris, tell us the memory you'd like to make here! Winners will be announced this Sunday. Can't wait to read you, Lou xx