The most exported Parisian souvenir.

« It’s not too late ». This is what tourists have been reading on the rust-coloured framework of the Parisian Lady for a few days. Some don’t even care, some are a bit disappointed to discover the Eiffel Tower blighted with political messages. A young man, standing right in the middle of the four-foot monument, his eyes revealing some kind of admiration, seems angry: “This is an historical monument, why do they need to use it as a billboard for some campaign?” he deplores.

Well, that does not seem to harm the iron mastodon. Indeed, in 2006, the Eiffel Tower beat an historical record with more than six million seven hundred thousand visitors. With the Seine River as a neighbour, the 324-meter-tall tower remains one of the reasons people visit Paris. “I have been in Paris since yesterday” relates this Spanish mother of two,”and here I am, queuing for a ticket”. They are, indeed, hundreds waiting in line to get their entry for the famous elevators of the Tower that will lift them up into the Parisian grey sky.

No matter what the weather is or how much this visit will cost them (11.50 euros to take the elevator up to the top), tourists, and even Parisians looking for some romantic spot for a first date, will inevitably climb it. The counter clerk, an embittered lady in her fifties, seems to be rather blasé. She hardly answers the questions asked by those waiting in line, windblown but impatient.

For those who thought they could have their annual amount of physical exercise, the disappointment is certain. Indeed, visitors can only climb by the stairs up to the first floor. Then, they will have to take the elevators to save themselves a 1665-step ascension. But anyway, the best spot is the second floor. Here, the Eiffel Tower offers a panoramic view on Paris and flashes sparkle all around. The salesman, in charge of the grocery store located on the same floor, is completely overwhelmed with buyers. “People are so proud to buy a souvenir they can eat! Like they have to get chocolate boxes from the Eiffel Tower because it is supposed to be the best in Paris?” . And he is right. Tourists have this look upon their faces; they know they will make a greater impression on their friends and families if they bring some candies from the Tower.

Even though the Eiffel Tower is surprisingly not the most visited monument in Paris, it remains the place to be and be seen when visiting the French capital. When walking under the Eiffel Tower, you may well appear on thousands of photos sent across the world!

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