Indiana University
Journalism Ernie Pyle

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March 15, 2008

Standing at over 950 feet tall and weighing in at over 7,300 tons, the Eiffel Tower left us all in amazement. Constructed in 1889 as a tourist attraction, it still holds its main purpose today. Millions from all over the world visit the Eiffel Tower yearly. It is indeed the symbol of Paris.

Thursday night several us, like eager children, embarked on a personal tour of Paris. Our main destination: the Eiffel Tower. As we walked the streets of Paris, the searchlights that sat atop the tower helped serve as an indicator as to what direction we should walk. We had caught several glimpses of the Tower before, but nothing prepared us for what we were about to see. Just around a tall building, the Eiffel Tower came into view. We literally stopped in our footsteps. Although I had left my camera back at the hotel room, the picture of the tower, as if written with indelible ink, became ingrained in my head. We stayed for a minute or so to take pictures and then we began to head back. With our backs to the Tower, something from the side caught my eye. As I turned around, the Tower was sparkling. What an end to a perfect night.

Friday afternoon we received a bus tour of Paris. After the tour was over and I had a chance to reflect I realized something. I realized that it is no surprise as to why Paris is so popular. The layout of the city was based off the ingenious work of Baron Haussmann, who literally tore down the city and constructed a layout that would lure people in from all over the world. The design scheme has been copied by metropolitan cities like D.C. and Indianapolis. Never will they come close to the historic beauty the city of Paris has to offer.

Although we saw historic monuments like the Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame and various opera houses, as you can probably tell, the Eiffel topped my list. And to learn that we would have a chance to actually go up inside the Tower left me excited. As we approached the Tower, there was a long line. Fortunately we had a pass that would allow us to move to the front and so we did. We waited patiently, and soon after we were hauled up two sectors of the Tower. Stepping off the elevator, we immediately knew that the view was going to be jaw-dropping and it was. The Eiffel Tower allowed us a chance to see what Paris had to offer us in the terms of historic monuments, apartments and cathedrals. It is enough that the Tower itself is beautiful, but to know that it offers a chance to witness the beauty around it… was a gift within itself.