The Eiffel Tower is just magnificent. It must be on every traveler's bucket list. I've been captivated by it for 30+ years now. Each time I go, I try to find a different angle from which to photograph it. It's so lovely, it's hard to believe that for so many years, it was used as a garish advertising billboard (reputedly the world's first) for Citroen automobiles. Check out old photos to see that the letters of the car maker's name were spelling out over the top two sections of this landmark. In 2008, it was particularly beautifully lit in blue with the European Union's gold stars. Now, about sunset, lights come on that bathe it in a brownish golden glow. At the top of each hour, twinkle lights come on for about ten minutes of extra joy. Some nights, the lights go off after midnight; some nights they stay on longer. The stairs on the west leg used to be free to climb, but it seems there is now a fee. What a pity. Anyway, my dream of climbing from bottom to top will probably never come true...they seem to stop you atop the second level, and force you to pay for an elevator the rest of the way. Not as good! One little-known fact: There is a post office on the first floor where you can mail a letter or postcard and have it stamped with a special Eiffel Tower stamp that is only available there...in all the world. What a souvenir. Send one to yourself, while you're at it! It will make you smile when you get home.
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