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Last Updated: Friday, 10 December, 2004, 18:30 GMT
Paris' skating rink in the sky
Eiffel Tower's ice rink
It is unlikely Gustave Eiffel had this in mind when he designed the tower
Visitors to the Eiffel Tower in Paris can now skate 57m above ground while admiring one of the best views in town.

For the first time in the 115-year history of the Paris landmark, an ice skating rink has opened there.

The rink opened Friday to the public and is already proving popular for locals and tourists alike.

"It's just magical - you see the whole city differently," Finnish visitor Hanna Patila told the Associated Press news agency.

"It's like you are skating on air."

"Fabuleux!" summed up the feelings of another of the tower's first batch of skaters.

The rink is lodged between two of the tower's massive steel legs and can handle 80 skaters at once.

At 200 sq m (2,150 sq feet), it is only about a third of the size of New York's famed rink at the Rockefeller Center.

And visitors that pay the tower's admission fee also enjoy free entry and skating gear hire.

But those wanting to cut the ice had better get their skates on.

The rink will only be in operation until 23 January.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Playtime in Paris as ice rink opens




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