This past Saturday while I was in Paris, I finished watching the kids at 10 pm and had the rest of the evening free, so I decided to continue exploring the city. We had plans to go up in the Eiffel Tower the following day, but I really wanted to be able to see it at night, so I consulted a map to see how far away it was from where I was staying. There was a metro station right next to our hotel, but I have anxiety about navigating public transportation in the U.S., let alone in a country where I don’t speak the language, so I decided that it would behoove me to walk. I knew it would probably take an hour to get there on foot, so I stopped at a grocery store and got a box of cookies and a tallboy for the trek and set out on my journey.
After about thirty minutes of walking, my body started revolting. Since I had walked around a lot earlier in the day my feet were already sore and my joints were achy and my leg muscles were stretch beyond their limit, so the longer I walked, the more painful it became. Each step was like agony. Not even constant sips from my tallboy could ease the pain I was experiencing. But the Eiffel Tower was getting closer and closer with each step, peeking over the tops of buildings every block or so, and I was determined to see it. So I soldiered on. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of walking, I was cursing the hardness of the concrete and my reluctance to use the metro and the Eiffel Tower for not being closer. I was teetering on the brink of just turning back and cutting my losses. But then, at approximately 11:57 pm, I turned a corner and saw it:
It was breathtaking. As in, I literally took my breath away. It was so huge and bright and I felt a warm glow just looking up at it. It was the most physical reaction I’ve ever had to a piece of architecture. I started taking pictures and then started walking up closer to it. After three minutes, at the stroke of midnight, this happened:
It was absolutely magical. I could hear oooohs and ahhhhhs emanating from all around the tower. My only lament was that I was by myself and didn’t have anyone to turn to to say “Wow, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” So I said it to myself. But I just stood there, watching the lights flicker with my mouth agape, and the fact that my feet were completely useless, and that I still had an hour and a half walk back to the hotel, didn’t matter because I was glad to be in that spot at that very moment, and I knew I had made the right decision in walking there. Seeing the Eiffel Tower aglow and sparkling at midnight was, without a doubt, my favorite moment of my short stay in Paris.