One of the perks of living in a neighborhood close to the Eiffel Tower is that you see this beauty almost every day, even in the most mundane of days and/or tasks. You see it when you rush to the nearest Monoprix or Franprix or Carrefour to buy grocery items. You see it when you walk to the Beaugrenelle Mall. You see it when you’re just strolling around.
After being here for almost two years, and seeing the Tower almost every day, you become accustomed to it like a friend. That’s why, whenever I pass by the Pont de Grenelle and glance at the Eiffel Tower, I almost instinctively greet it “Hi, Eiffel!” and smile at it in my mind.
Well, of course, no other world landmark can take the first place in my heart as the Mayon Volcano. Having grown up in Albay, I (and most of Albayanos, I think) appreciate it so much that I was blessed with the gift of the magnificent view of this majestic volcano every day. This has breathtaking beauty no matter the time of day, the formation of the clouds, the hues of the sky, and the type of weather. There are days, however, when it chooses to hide behind the clouds and show itself when it wants to.
And yet, the Eiffel Tower has a piece of my heart—I have countless pictures of it. It is because, at any given opportunity, I feel like I want to capture its image. Some of the photos were taken during my evening strolls, many with visiting friends and family members, and one, which is my favorite, after attending a work-related event in the area near the Tower.
If you read about the background of the Tower, you will learn: that it was conceived as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889 and that it was chosen among 107 projects; that it is made of 18, 083 metallic parts and 5,300 workshop designs; that 50 engineers and designers worked together to create it; and that it was great technical feat with mathematical precision when it was finished. All these add to its marvellousness, and yes, its beauty. It is also interesting to note that the Tower received harsh criticism from the great minds and sectors of the French society at the time and even in the international community for years, before it finally achieved its place among the world’s greats and in the hearts of humankind. Thus, it can be seen as a perfect example of surmounting obstacles and overcoming adversity.
I must admit, I cannot say I like the Eiffel Tower all the time. There were times in the past when I passed by the Eiffel while riding the bus on a gloomy weather and I saw the equally gray Tower, and thought it just looked like a big piece of metallic work. I think it looks more magical at night, especially when it glitters during the first few minutes of every hour.
I have gone up to the Tower late in the evening, saw the twinkling lights up close, and marvelled at the sight below of symmetrical streets, gardens, and structures of the city of Paris. While I think, I wouldn’t be so excited to climb up the Tower again, I might suggest it to visiting friends and loved ones, for them to experience it and have the chance to see Paris through the Tower’s eyes.