When I first moved to Paris in September 2001, it was two weeks after 9/11. I arrived with a suitcase full of clothes and books, ready to study at the University of London Institute in Paris. In my first week there I connected with a few other students from the course and, before our first classes, we went for a night out in Montmartre. I remember we talked about our ambitions for the future – the hopes and dreams of a dozen 18-year-olds which of course didn’t quite come true for any of us.
One moment of that night has always stuck with me. We walked down the steps in front of the Sacré Coeur and as we stood next to the ballustrades, looking out at the new city and new adventures that lay before us, one of the girls started crying. She was from Grimsby in the north of England and I thought she was homesick. I asked her if she was alright. She said:
“It’s just so beautiful. And I’m worried one day I might take it for granted.”
We lost contact a few years later but that moment has always stayed with me.
Anyway, it’s 14 years later. I no longer live in Paris but I visit regularly and I’m quite certain that I have never reached a point where I take the city and its amazing views for granted. Every time I visit I am astounded by its beauty.
I don’t often post about the Eiffel Tower on here. In fact, I don’t think I ever have. But it’s not because I don’t like it, or because I think it’s cliché. Quite the opposite – I love the Eiffel Tower. It grounds me when I’m there – seeing it places me firmly in Paris and, for me, there is no other monument in the world that defines its city quite so neatly. It is an icon. And so every time I go to Paris I take a million photos of it, like I’ve never seen it before or like I never will again.
I’m not an amazing photographer (I don’t even own a camera) but I thought I’d share some of my favourite photos of the Eiffel Tower from the last year.
All my photos are taken on an iPhone and I edit them with Instagram. If you want to see more of my photos of Paris (and London and Little Dog and cups of lovely tea) you can find me on Instagram under the username, andrewjameswriter.
I’m also always keen to hear from you. What’s your favourite view of Paris? Let me know in the comments…