Winter's icy grip has left few parts of Europe untouched, and France's capital city, Paris, and the main tollways leading into it, have been no exception.
GV TILT DOWN FROM Snow-covered Eiffel Tower TO traffic
GV People walking through falling snow (3 shots)
SV PULLOUT TO GV Shop window showing sunny Eiffel Tower post-cards and snow falling around shop
GV Arc de Triomph and snowy road
GV Pan Gendarmes on street corner as congested traffic goes by (2 shots)
GV Snowbound motorway and traffic lining up
TRACKING SHOT Traffic at standstill on tollway (6 shots)
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Background: Winter's icy grip has left few parts of Europe untouched, and France's capital city, Paris, and the main tollways leading into it, have been no exception. Paris has rarely seen such weather and its most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, stands, like a giant icicle.
SYNOPSIS: The Eiffel Tower, so long a major attraction for tourists at all times of the year, has lost something of its popularity in the past few days, with few people prepared to climb the stairs to get a view of Paris. Apart from the fact that the icy winds have frozen the lift cables, the freezing temperatures and near blizzard conditions would make it a daunting task from even the most hardy tourist.
The approaches to Paris's other great monument, the Arc de Triomph, were also snow-covered on Friday (5 January).
For the capital's gendarmes, the snow has presented even more problems than usual, with the normally busy streets becoming almost impossibly congested. Paris was almost cut-off from the rest of metropolitan France.
Some villages only fifty kilometres (30 miles) from the capital, were totally isolated with six metre (20 foot) snow drifts reported. And the traffic on the main tollways came to a complete standstill, with trucks and lorries lined back for miles waiting for snow clearing equipment for snow clearing equipment to clear the roads. Meanwhile, while they waited patiently in traffic queues, Parisians did not forget the important business of eating.