Archive | December 2011

Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in France composed of massive latticework structure. The Eiffel Tower is currently owned by the City of Paris and is used as a landmark for visitors. The Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris Exposition of 1889. The Eiffel tower was finished in 1889 and was nearly torn down 20 years later after its lease expired. However, it was kept because many thought its antenna for telegraphy would be useful. In 1910, it became part of the International Time Service. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited sites in all of the world. The Eiffel Tower has attracted over a quarter of a billion visits in its existance. The Eiffel Tower at Night is one of the most beautiful attractions in the city and shines a golden color visible to most in Paris. Even today, the Eiffel Tower serves as a symbol of the beauty of Paris.

The Eiffel Tower is a icon of Paris, pronounced in french as “Tour Eiffel”. The Eiffel Tower is an iron construction created in the 19th century to be a temporary exhibition for the Universal Exposition. It is one of the most easy recognized constructions in the world.

When visiting Paris you can’t get away with not being on the top of the Eiffel Tower once. Although the view might not be as great as on other historical buildings the Eiffel Tower is an monument representing the city for many years. At some points visiting the Eiffel Tower can take up quit some time as waiting lines tend to count up till 2 hours in high season.

Visitors can chose to go to the second floor (115m or 377ft) or all the way to the top (276m or 905ft). The second floor can be reached by stairs while the top

floor is only reached by an elevator. Three elevators are available while one two are in use at the same time, this is for maintenance. The top floor can also be reached from the second floor. If you are going to the top , take the stairs to the second floor where you will find interesting historic facts and events about the Eiffel Tower. But if you do not have much time, you might as well take the elevator to the top floor at once cause another waiting line will be there on the second floor. Both floors have restaurants for which a reservation should be made couple weeks ahead. The second floor has also a snackbar and a souvenirshop while the top floor has a historic view of Gustaf Eiffel’s office and engineerroom.

As paris is called the city of lights then the Eiffel Tower could be called
the monument of lights. At night the Eiffel Tower is fully lit which give a wonderfull unique view.

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Great Wall of China

great wall of china

The Great Wall of China is roughly an hour journey away from Beijing. In a group of five, we set off to the Bus Station by taxi from our China Hotels using China Travel. From there we boarded the bus to ‘Mutianyu’ which is a small village near the Great Wall. It was interesting as we gazed out of our windows most of the time and looked at the scenery of Beijing’s landscape, culture and beauty.

The bus dropped us off in a small village 20km away from Mutianyu and we then flagged a taxi down to take us to our desired destination. We negotiated and bargained with the taxi man to give us a good price for the ride there and eventually after a long discussion we managed to get a good price and arrived in a small minibus. The roads there were not fully developed although most are concrete payment, but huge holes in the ground made us jump around a lot in the taxi, it was fun so using China Tours would definitely be the best option for a more comfortable ride.

So we finally got to the Great Wall, ahead of time we stopped off for some food at a nearby restaurant and we dined into some Chinese cuisine. It was traditional style Chinese food with a variety of foods to choose from and gave us a boost of energy for the upcoming trek. We then walked up a large hill and came across the ticket box to purchase our entrance, sky lift, and toboggan lift tickets. It was surrounded with heaps of cultural stalls and attractions to interest tourists and people in with souvenirs and gifts to purchase. This felt intense as you were bombarded with hundreds of people trying to sell you something. But eventually to our glee and to some extent- exhaustion, we made it to the sky lift and made our way up to the Great Wall of China.

At last! Standing and seeing an ancient and most preserved wonder of the world! It felt great and good to be witnessing something extraordinary. I took lots of pictures and videos, and for some reason started thinking about life. It really does amaze you once you are up there in the mountains and seeing something powerful, its beauty at its best. We walked the wall until the very end of its capable and safety limit which took us around two hours to do. The Wall itself is actually thousands of miles long so we couldn’t see all of it as it would probably take us a year to do. So getting here with a good pair of shoes is better for long distance walking especially on the Great Wall of China.

After an eventful and enjoyable day, we turned around and began our journey back. This involved taking a toboggan ride down the last hills of the Great Wall. It was great and so much fun when you slide down, it’s like one big roller coaster! Once down the mountains, we got a minibus back to Beijing city and ended our day. This is was fun also as it gives you a chance to relax on your way home from a long and tiring but exhilarating day out. This is one trip that should be experienced by everyone and is truly something different and special. For more information, I would recommend China Flights to create a package.