Paris: View from the Eiffel Tower

Apologies for the temporary lapse in Paris imagery. But although I wasn’t writing, I was taking pictures.  Now the journey is over and there is ample time to look at some of the highlights. 

The Eiffel Tower dominates the Paris skyline and sooner or later one must brave the crowds of tourists and view the city from above.  The forecast called for scattered thunderstorms and it seemed that maybe I could get lucky.  Interesting clouds on the horizon, cowardly tourists choose other options.  But there were a lot of brave tourists that night and it was about an hour before we made it to the elevator and began the ascent.


We arrived on the second level, about 380 feet above the street about an hour before twilight and there were some dark clouds on the horizon.  The scene looked promising. But then I saw the fountains of Trocadero were running at full power and to say that I was upset is putting it mildly.  I have been trying to capture those fountains up close for years and they are never running when I show up.  As the image above shows, the central cannons shoot a massive stream of water a distance of more than 150 feet.  But here I was, about a half mile away and almost 400 feet above them.  Five minutes later, the fountains shut down.

However, one must accept what one is given and perhaps there would be something else in store for that evening. As it turned out, good things did happen.  As the image below shows, the predicted thunderstorms appeared but in the distance. So we were treated to a lightning and thunderstorm display while remaining completely dry.  I don’t have one of those devices that senses lightning, but I did take one shot just as a bolt flashed in the distance.


The skyscrapers in the distance intrigued me.  I was told it was the area known as “La Defense” and I thought that it might be an interesting place to explore.  Stay tuned…….

14 thoughts on “Paris: View from the Eiffel Tower

    • Thank you, you’re right about being lucky. As the clouds began to form with the setting sun, I stopped thinking about the fountains being turned off, realizing I was seeing something really special.


  1. You got both: the fountain AND the dramatic clouds with lightning thrown in. Amazing how clear the air is to be able to see into the distance like that.
    Sometimes I think photography is the spiritual practice of cultivating patience 🙂


  2. Hello Robin, Loved your latest photo of Paris. I find we are hanging out together at Potomac falls nursing center. They selected your tree and bluebell image which you probably already know. I got more involved in the process than one would expect because the facility put the artwork on a floor and it’s on a slab. We’ll water buckled the mats on my work so much I had to redo mount boards and over mat. You got lucky with minimal damage so they are taking your work as is. Because I went there to fix the problem they bought 2 more images. How much do you ask for your 16×20? Are you home now? I’m anxious to hear all about your trip. I’m still worried that I won’t go. Paul had a hbrain concussion on the 18th. He was left unattended in the shower. So many bad things could have happened but thankfully he is healing well. Emma is here for the week so I’m on the run. I’m looking toward to catching up with you Best to you, Carla

    Sent from my e



  3. Really lovely to see more Paris images, I can’t choose between the two of them, I love the water trail but also that lightning bolt just puts the power of nature into perspective from such a height and distance. Stunning work as usual, has made me extremely eager to visit Paris!


  4. Robin, great story behind these terrific images. I remember your post on the fountains at the Place de la Concorde (another lovely image) and know you would have gotten equally lovely shots of the fountains at the Tocadero. That being said, even should you return to Paris, capturing the lightning from the vantage point of the Eiffel Tower is a moment most likely not repeated. Love the streaming light, the gush of water from the distant fountains, and of course, the bolt of lightning. You’re right – good things were happening where you were, AND you learned about La Defense!


  5. Thanks, Stacy. I really appreciate the kind words. And you’re right. The one good thing about failing to get some key images is that you have a built-in excuse to go back. I think the next time we go we’ll get a place that is closer to the Palais de Chaillot (Trocadero) so I can keep an eye on those capricious fountains.


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