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Near-Frostbite, But for a Good Cause

The first and second days we were here in Paris, it was quite foggy -- in fact, flying in last Sunday, we could see the Eiffel Tower rising up out of opaque clouds below. We decided to skip seeing it until the weather cleared. Tuesday and Wednesday turned out to be glorious days here -- not a cloud in the sky and quite pleasant in the midday sun. So, Tuesday afternoon, we decided to go to the Eiffel Tower right at sunset.

Of course, the problem with clear winter days is that without the fog to trap the heat, it becomes much colder at night. The sun had almost finished setting when we got to the top. We had already stood in line over a half-hour to get our tickets, and then stood in more lines for the two elevators, so by the time we got to the top, we were already cold -- and then the high-altitude wind hit us. Most people on the observation deck was crowded on the southwest side, sheltered from the wind, and even there it was seriously cold.

In any case, Kelsey and I stayed out there long enough to take a few photographs, using the self-timer and sitting the camera on railings (with the strap tightly in my hand) to get some low-light shots. Here are two of my favorites:

View from the Eiffel Tower 1

A view to the southwest, along the Seine. The road in the center of the picture is Quai de Grenelle closer to the Tower, then becomes Quai André Citroën farther on. The bridge at the far end of the narrow island is the Pont de Grenelle.

View from the Eiffel Tower 2

A view to the northeast. The bridge in the center of the picture is the Pont de l'Alma. The light blue streak of light in the sky is the Tower's spotlight, rotating as the photograph was exposed.

By the time we were done, we were having trouble moving our fingers -- but it was for a good cause.

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