Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year's Eve '09: Light show at the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is now a global icon of France and happens to be one of the tallest buildings in Paris. It has become one of the most recognizable structures and is the most visited paid monument in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair.

It was my first new year's eve to celebrate in Paris. There was so much excitement about what was in store for the tourists and locals, alike: a light show at the Eiffel Tower. All bundled up, at 11:00 p.m. my daughter and I walked along the Seine River to get into position.

There was so much traffic on the road as cars made their way through the throngs of people walking on the a celebratory spirit...drinking, eating, talking, and singing. Some had too many drinks and were so drunk that they were falling all over the place, being rowdy as a group, and became unsightly when they could no longer handle or keep their drinks.

Armed with my camera, this is what I watched and captured:
From afar, we could see that the light show at the Eiffel Tower had began.
Along the way, we found some enterprising people catering to the needs of the crowd: 
Champagne for sale by the glass and food to go.
The show was a set program of light patterns, in different colors, changing quickly.
It was somewhere here that we stood, in front of the Trocadero...
which is directly in front of the Eiffel Tower.
I just kept my camera focused on the Eiffel Tower the whole time, clicking away as fast as I could.
Just about everyone was taking pictures, using high-powered lenses, point and shoot cameras like mine, and with their mobile phones.
The tower lights momentarily stopped...
and the running lights began to run from one side to the other...the people got excited and began to this turned out to be the countdown...
et voila...all the lights turned white...
and 2009 had ended and 2010 had arrived.
Everyone turned to greet the person next to them "bonne année!"
Then it was just twinkling lights...
and then the lights went into their usual mode, the color yellow, the light color that the Eiffel Tower can be seen from many places in Paris, all year round.

When it was over, I asked, "Is that it?" It did not have the same pizazz as a fireworks display, but it was uniquely French!

When you come to visit at another time, be sure to see the Eiffel Tower when it sparkles with twinkling lights for 10 minutes, on the hour, every hour!

Happy 2010!!!

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