Visited: June 27th
I discovered many things at the Eiffel Tower….namely I can’t do heights. I’ve always known that I get vertigo in high places but I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I went up to the 2nd Floor but I couldn’t look at the lift moving- i.e. I kept my eyes shut. I then walked out to the open area…stayed about 25 feet away from the edge but I started tearing up and decided to go inside to the enclosed area. This entire time my dizziness kept getting worse and worse. I tried to distract myself with some souvenir shopping…I barely made it through the line. So, I can say I went up the Tower and was there for about 10 minutes. (By the way, I started crying in the elevator on the way back down.) Lesson: If you are nervous about going up the Eiffel Tour don’t get the tickets!! My ticket was purchased for me through USAC so I decided I should at least try. I did, however, send my camera up to the top.
After I calmed down I did some promenading and people watching- safely on the ground. I discovered more things.
- The men who sell water to tourists hide it in the bottom of garbage cans. Not all of the garbage cans have solid bottoms, so they put their packages in the ones which are solid. There was one guy who had his hid behind the concession stand in the park area right underneath the Tower. I tried to find one of these guys’ stash but they are very good at hiding them.
- Pigeons here in Paris are ginormous!!! They are about as big as my dog who is 10 lbs.
- I believe women travel to Paris, either with their wedding dresses or before they are actually wedded, to take pictures with the Eiffel Tower in the background. They did not appear to be French but they walked away before I got close enough to overhear any conversations. It was very odd to see brides walking around in tennis shoes with the local Parisians napping in the same park area.
Something I wrote while lounging under the trees in the park:
Background story- while traveling through Paris and getting onto a Metro stop the group was swarmed by a group of women who appeared deaf…or were acting deaf. Our guide told to keep moving and not to sign anything. He told us later that he couldn’t tell if it was a legitimate form or not but that the group was comprise of gypsies and that it could very well have been a distraction so that someone else could come up behind us and take what they want from our bags.
“I was approached by a women who said she was deaf. She wanted me to sign a form (looked like a petition). I don’t know why someone would lie about being deaf, but I also don’t understand why they would be circulating a petition in a n area where the majority of the people are tourists. Perhaps French laws are different when it comes to petitions, but I feel like a non-citizen’s signature would be useless. She didn’t appear to be able to read lips when I told her I wasn’t French. If the petition is real & for Deaf& Blind benefits I hope they get the signatures they need. However, Ryan (Tour guide/supervisor) told us it was mostly like a ruse- but that was at the bus stop. The people circulating the petitions are apparently gypsies (I can’t honestly tell what makes a “gypsy” appear as a “gypsy”). I understand there is tension where Gypsies are concerned across Europe. SO, perhaps the Deaf&Blind in their communities are not receiving a decent education or public benefits. I wish I knew a Gypsy to ask & then a French person, so I could get both sides of the situation.”
blog written in full form from notes: July 3rd