While in London last year, my daughter and I skipped boarding the famous London Eye ferris wheel. The lines were outrageous and we decided that better time was spent walking the streets of London and exploring other areas (like the Sherlock Holmes Museum). We promised ourselves that we would return to London and visit the ferris wheel very early in the day. In Paris however, I was always curious about its famous landmark, La Grande Roue de Paris and I wasn’t going to miss out on this ride this time around.
According to the official website, the Roue de Paris is a transportable ferris wheel. I did not know that. The entire 264 ft. structure can be dismantled by a special team in under three days and reassembled at any location in just three days.
Erected in the year 2000 for the millenium celebrations, this massive structure has moved several times in Europe and Asia, delighting visitors in Manchester, Birmingham and Gateshead England, Amsterdam, Bangkok and Antwerp. It requires no foundation, just over 11,000 gallons of water ballast to keep it steady. Amazing feat of engineering! In retrospect, I’m glad I found out about this after I got home.
The Roue de Paris is currently situated just outside the Jardin de Tuileries and the Louvre. Emerging from the Metro, we noticed that we had just avoided a big downpour. This didn’t stop the thousands of tourists milling about the park and outside the museum.Upon entering the Jardin de Tuileries, my daughter and I took a leisurely stroll. We noticed to our left the sights and sounds of a carnival so we walked towards it. There we saw the wheel and many other attractions.
The Maxx was a new ride that I had never seen before at this location. She didn’t want to ride it so we walked right past it.
The ferris wheel was very affordable. Five euros children under 12 and ten euros for adults. Due to the rain, there was not a single person on line. We waited for a few short minutes for the wheel to stop and let some passengers off. We boarded one of the forty-two suspended gondolas and were treated to great views of not only the garden and the Louvre, but large sections of this beautiful city.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. We took plenty of pictures and enjoyed the view. The ride went quick; about five minutes I think. Far too short. When we emerged, we were herded to a large photo background with a photoshopped Eiffel Tower and the Roue de Paris placed together. A photographer took our picture and directed us to the photo booth. I can’t tell you how much the souvenir photo cost because both of us walked right past it without a care in the world for it.
I’ve seen beautiful pictures of the ferris wheel during the night and it looks absolutely beautiful. This dreary morning with cloudy skies and falling rain didn’t make this attraction very pretty to look at. Perhaps next year we’ll take another evening stroll and head this way. For now, the experience of riding our first ferris wheel together and checking out the great views of Paris was more than good enough for us.