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  • Writer's pictureCherise Adams

Why I didn’t take photos at the Eiffel Tower

Updated: Oct 30, 2019

I’ve been in Paris for three days, but I want to stay here forever. The sights, the sounds, the language, and the people are melting into me like soft, fragrant oil; I feel like I should have been here all along. It’s 8:15 am and my alarm clock has gone off twice. My new husband lays in a deep sleep, our small hotel room chilled solely by the large open window letting in the chilly spring air. I’m scrolling through photos to see what it is that I’ve missed and everything looks in place except one thing: we visited the Eiffel Tower but did not take a single photo there.

This quintessential view of Paris, the tower from the Carousel, the Champs du Mars, or the Trocadero is the one photo every tourist takes with them back home to show they visited the City of Love and found the true spirit of Paris in the backdrop of this large iron edifice. Truth be told, I thought I’d missed something so crucial when I thought of this, surely everyone had to take a photo here; how else could you prove you made it? Then I looked at the other things, the memories: the city from our street-view room in the morning and the way the sun turned the old buildings bright yellow. The potted plants on the balconies and windows of every room and how the colors contrasted with that same bright yellow. The gilded golden gleam of Versailles, that breathtaking hall of mirrors filled with well-dressed “influencers” capturing their own #OOTD in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I think of the open-mouthed wonder as Dylan touches the columns inside the Cathedral de Notre Dame, tracing centuries of history with his fingertips.

Black woman with curly hair and white man with brown hair smiling with the Mona Lisa behind them.
The most genuine smiles we've ever had looking at all of the art and artifacts and The Louvre

Suddenly, that big iron edifice didn't feel so big at all. The feelings, the experiences, the memories held in each other’s hands, that is what I plan to take back home with me. The proof never truly needed to be held online for all to see, no matter how hard social pulls you to believe otherwise. Sometimes when you slow down and feel in your soul where you are in the moment, none of the photographic evidence matters. We have our hearts, we have each other; what else is there?

So, I may not be able to go on Instagram and show the world “I did it,” but I can touch the fingertips that touched history, I can reminisce on the gilded gold of the sunrise; I can look into the eyes of my sweet, sweet husband and know that whether the world knows it or not, we were here.

Black girl with curly hair and navy blue jacket standing in Versailles Hall of Mirrors. She is wearing a red lanyard and glasses, looking to the left.
Standing in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

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