I had to pinch myself to remind me that I wasn’t dreaming. The Eiffel Tower, Paris’s big erection stood before me in all its tall (and glorious) splendor that Sunday afternoon last September enroute from Charles de Gaulle Airport to my hotel.
There’s something about places that you’ve often encounter in images, TV, movies, or being written or sung about but haven’t seen before. There’s that element of familiarity but when you’re actually there, body and soul, you still get excited and giddy and wide eyed. I was.
We saw the Eiffel Tower destroyed in a G.I. Joe movie. Or how it looks like in photos, often in creative compositions but the first time I got a close up view, passing by, almost under its monstrous construction, one cold and crisp morning, walking to Musee de Quai Branly, I was amazed at it. And at night, it can be more stunning.
There were interesting details like the many names emblazoned at the lower part that I haven’t seen in movies or images. Or how the morning sun strikes the heavy wrought iron bars casting a shadow under. Or how many tourists from all over the world gamely pose before it, making themselves look silly for a memory.
But even when one is afar, as long as you see the Eiffel Tower, or how, when walking or driving around and buildings and trees block and show, block and show this beautiful landmark, you’re just enthralled. And a good reminder that, yeah, you’re really in Paris. Not a dream.