An ascent of M. Eiffel’s creation

Today I was fortunate enough to be escorted up M. Gustav Eiffel’s famed tower. It has most deservedly attracted the attention of engineers world-wide, as it is indeed the tallest man-made structure in the world, more than doubling the height of America’s Washington Monument.

Most remarkably, ascending the structure, over 1,000 feet in height, is automated by means of moving platforms, each of which can carry dozens of thrill-seeking visitors at at once. On this day, however, I was graced by the company of M. Eiffel himself, who stopped our platform for 20 minutes, allowing me to set up my photographic apparatus. After just three attempts, I was able to produce this remarkable image of the inner-workings of the Tower’s fascinating mechanical infra-structure:

Okay, seriously, as you may have guessed, today I went up the Eiffel Tower and all I’ve got to show for it is this lousy picture of the elevator shaft.

Nah, just joking again. That was about the worst photo I took today. I got a nifty panorama of the entire tower, but unfortunately I won’t be able to post it now because my panorama software is home on my *other* computer. But in this photo, you can see where I was standing when I took the panorama you can’t see.

I was in the middle of the path crossing the Champs de Mars at the bottom of this photo.

But Europe isn’t all about taking standard tourist photos of the standard monuments. It’s also about observing fascinating quirks in your kids’ behavior. Nora, when she’s settling down to read a book before bed, likes to cuddle under yards of comforter:

Jim, on the other hand, prefers to flop on his bed, hardly covered at all.

We also visited the Musée D’Orsay today. I only got the standard touristy pictures, such as this one:

But I did come up with an interesting conundrum. Most Americans, when referring to the museum in shorthand, say something like “oh, when are we going to visit D’Orsay?”

But that translates as, “when are we going to visit of Orsay?” Shouldn’t they just be saying “when are we going to visit Orsay,” and leave the D’ off?

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