Destination: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris. Why? To pay homage to a clever designer, a certain Gustave Eiffel, who created the blueprint for the Eiffel Tower, which was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution.
The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the Tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Eiffel’s was unanimously chosen. At 320.75 meters (including antenna), it was the world’s tallest building until 1930. And in 2013, today, it, to me, represents grace and refinement, balance and one of my favourite spots on God’s green earth:
The tower was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because the city used its antenna for military and telegraphy purposes, so the Tower was allowed to remain after the permit expired. When the Tower played an important role in capturing the infamous lady spy Mata Hari during WWI, it gained such importance to the French people that there was no more thought of demolishing it. Thank goodness…
I promised myself a cliché for this my third visit to Paris, and voilà! I’m wearing none other than a beret in front of the Eiffel Tower.