Paris

The Turkish coffee grounds again proved right, the sun came slowly through the clouded sky and our event day turned out bright and sunny.

Just for fun, as we were taking some better photos and film shots around the Tower, out of the blue I said to Steffen, our cameraman filming the making-off of the tour, “how about if you film me whilst I give the Mayor’s office a last call?” “Sure why not,” was his answer, “go ahead” – so I took my mobile phone out of my pocket and called the Mayor’s office one last time … and was shocked to suddenly hear a complete different tune: Before I had finished introducing myself for the zillionth time, a competent female voice stopped me to say, “your file is not with us anymore, it has been forwarded to our Deputy Mayor in charge of Tourism, who is also the head of the Eiffel Tower. Please call there.” I did and a friendly lady asked me details of what this was all about (they had had the file since 2003!) and after I had explained what the New7Wonders campaign was all about, she proposed to hold the hand-over of the official candidacy certificate in two hours … but that she would not be able to create a ceremony in such a short time … of course. Still, what a miracle – things were actually happening in Parisand someone was taking notice of the New7Wonders team here! (Or was it because a N7W angel, Fadila, the French-Algerian lawyer and committed social worker had made some miracle phone calls?!)

The hand-over ceremony actually turned out to be quiet a pleasant moment with M. Bros, who is in charge of the company set up to “exploit” the Eiffel Tower (in a good way!). He became more attentive and sensitive with every sentence as I told him about New7Wonders.

Strangely enough, later on we got a phone call from German TV, ZDF, who had missed the opportunity to come to our Neuschwanstein Castle event the week before in Bavaria and they wanted to catch up with us here in Paris … is France going to catch up with us in New York (where they actually have a part in the Statue of Liberty as well!)? Who knows – things move in mysterious ways.

We were granted access and filming rights on the Eiffel Tower thanks to our new-found allies in M. Bros’ office, and we made our way to the VIP and Press entrance. A bit surprisingly, this also actually serves as the garbage elevator. Needless to say, the perfume in this closed cell was not “digne” of the French perfumes … the tour of the Wonders sometimes makes me wonder, honestly!!

The French have a great monument, but my feeling is that they take it for granted. I told them that, right now, mostly people in Asia are voting for their nationally symbol and if they do not get behind the campaign, they should not take for granted that it will become one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Finally, to help us leave France on a poetic note, an unknown poet had the gentillesse to drop a piece of paper at the foot of Paris’ Statue of Liberty – which stands in a rather unpoetic park under the pillar of an unattractive bridge crossing the Seine. I happened to pick it up: “Trop tard, un autre H(omme) m’a déjà enlevé … à l’américaine. Retrouve moi vite, avant qu’il me noit dans son whisky!” (Too late, a m(an) has already taken me away … american style. Rescue me fast, before he drowns me in his whisky!)