We disembarked across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower at the Palais de Chaillot. The tour guide showed us how to use the subways...I already knew, so I felt smart. I bought a day-pass for it which I never used. I ran across the Pont Díiem bridge to the Eiffel Tower and took a few photos although it was not a good time because the sun was directly behind it.
Then I once again ran up underneath it to get a photo (to the right) between the legs. I felt like a doctor delivering a little baby television antenna.
I bought a ticket and went to the top. They searched my backpack to ensure I wasnít carrying a handheld thermonuclear device. Satisfied Iíd left it on the tour bus, they let me ascend the tower. It's a shame they didn't have one of those "No Jokes" signs like they have at airline security, because I had a few good French jokes I needed to leave at the bottom of the tower. They were more dangerous at the top--farther to fall.
The Eiffel Tower is not composed of huge girders but of smaller plates of steel riveted into a complex mesh of steel. Itís built of wrought iron rather than lighter steel so that the excess weight of the structure helps stabilize it and there is less sway. The base is bolted to the foundation but it is heavy enough and wide enough at its base that it would easily stand on its own without being attached to the base.
Note Eiffel Tower shadow as I look down on the Pont Díiem bridge, again towards the Palais de Chaillot, and just to the right of the bridge, the tour bus I came in on--click to get full size photo.