On my first visit to Paris, more than 30 years ago, I didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower. I thought it was too expensive.
I haven’t gone up on subsequent visits either, as they have been of the changing planes/trains variety, so I haven’t been back.
Part of me regrets not having spent the money to see Paris from the top of the Tower. We were on a very tight budget back then and I couldn’t justify the expense to myself, no matter how much I wanted to go up.
Today I might suppress my Scottish instincts and pay the 25.50 Euros ($37 Canadian) for the elevator to the top. (Taking the stairs would be only 19.40 Euros, but as an old man I have no desire to do the climb.) Then again, I might not. I’ll have to go back to Paris sometime and see what happens.
A few years ago I was in London and for the first time saw the London Eye on the banks of the Thames River. It is essentially a big Ferris wheel, and gives a great view of the city for those willing to pay the price. However, it was the last day of a month-long trip and I was feeling too drained to do anything more than walk along the Thames. And, once again, the price was a deterrent to me.
A ride on the London Eye is 27 pounds ($46 Canadian). That makes it considerably pricier than the Eiffel Tower, but it is newer and probably more expensive to operate. I’m not sure I could bring myself to pay the admission fee.
All of which has me thinking about the cost of vacations. How do you decide what is worth the money, and, just as important, what isn’t? Will there be regrets later? Will you get a second chance for what may be a once in a lifetime trip?
At some point I expect to be in Paris again. I will probably pay the money and ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It is such an iconic symbol, that on some emotional level doing that seems to make sense.
The next time I am in London I will probably skip The London Eye, yet again. I’m sure the view is great, and online review say it is value for money, but the Eye wasn’t there the first time I visited England. It isn’t essential to my having a great holiday experience. Then again, neither is the Eiffel Tower.
So I don’t know for sure what I will do when or if the opportunity arises again. What would you do?