They got to Paris from Rome via night train (15 hours in a couchette compartment, incommunicado of course) and then, instead of updating their blog to let us know they were safe and sound, they had an audacious plan to call home from the top of the Eiffel Tower and surprise us. So they stood in line for hours, eagerly anticipating our delight, until just as they got to the front on the queue about to buy their tickets to ascend . . . it rained. Sorry folks, not today.
So they called just now from their hostel instead. And it was just as sweet for me. 🙂
(Especially since I’ve been sitting here in suspense for hours, refreshing the site every few minutes . . .I’m really not neurotic but this is HARD!)
So now I’m amusing and distracting myself, starting with:
A French mathematics professor predicted that when the structure passed the 748-foot mark, it would inevitabl[y] collapse; another “expert” predicted that the tower’s lightning rods would kill all the fish in the Seine.
The Paris edition of the New York Herald claimed the tower was changing the weather; the daily newspaper Le Matin ran a headline story claiming “The Tower is Sinking”:
“If it has really begun to sink,” Le Matin pontificated, “any further building should stop and sections already built should be demolished as quickly as possible.”
As the tower’s progress continued unabated, however, a sense of awe began to replace the fear.
Most advances in architecture and engineering are incremental. If, for instance, you wanted to build the world’s first 10-story building, you’d expect to study the construction techniques of 8-and 9-story buildings first.
But Gustave Eiffel didn’t have that luxury. No one had ever built an iron tower like his of any size…let alone one that was twice as tall as the tallest building on earth.
AN ENGINEERING GENIUS
To accomplish his task, Eiffel devised some incredibly ingenious techniques . . .
Unschooling Europe tag