After settling in at the hotel, it was a mission to find some great Belgium beer. Downtown Brussels is quite touristy. Little restaurants lined the streets, and walking by meant subjecting yourself to constant solicitation. We pretty much just put the blinders on and headed for the Delirium Cafe. They have some six different bars within their little cul-de-sac, and around 2,000 beers available in total.
I was expecting a tourist trap, but quickly came to like this monument. I decided to dedicate an entire post to it since the inside of the Automium is so filled with futuristic, abstract elements that it made for a wonderful place to explore and shoot. I officially decided the Atomium is where Spaceship Earth @ Epcot Disneyworld & Dark Star the movie collide – if you’ve been to/watched either you’ll completely understand where I’m coming from. Overall, completely different from anything else I’d seen on the trip, but an absolute must when you visit Brussles.
The last day in Paris. My feet told me it should have been spent indoors or sitting comfortably at a corner cafe with cold beer within arms reach. The brain and camera told me to keep moving, and it’s evident who prevailed. We started with a quick walk around the Bastille monument. Unless you like pretending your the frog in frogger, you will only see this monument from the outside of its traffic circle. After Bastille, we headed towards Sacre-Coeur. I’m glad the day wasn’t squandered, because this was easily one of the best views to be found in all of Paris. Unlike Notre Dame, photography is not allowed inside the cathedral. They do, however, offer tickets for visiting the crypts below the church, and the towers above the church. The crypts were quiet, pristine, and a great location for capturing detailed, long-shutter HDR shots. Visiting the towers required climbing around 300 steps in an ancient spiral staircase, but was well worth Read More
A short train ride from the 15th district, Versailles is hands down the most incredible destination to experience when in the Paris area. There isn’t even enough time in one entire day to cover all the grounds, but with the better part of a day you can see almost everything. The gardens reach literally for miles, and are laced with countless fountains, secluded passages, sculptures and enormous bodies water. Marie Antoinette’s Estates are eloquent and rich with history. The Versailles Estate was breathtaking. Every room was laced with gold and decked with lavish furniture and decorations.
Hitting the streets again, we started the day off with a quick tour through Invalides and Tuileries Gardens on our way into the Louvre. The Louvre itself is best described as art inside of art. The grounds, architecture & details are astounding, and it is by far the largest museum I’ve ever visited. I was completely blown away by their Roman and French sculpture galleries.
Celebrating a transcontinental reunion can definitely take its toll on you. Thankfully, we were (eventually) awake and in shape to visit Notre Dame. Unfortunately, there was an event being hosted just outside, and the tent it was being held in greatly limited frontal, exterior shots of the cathedral. However, it was a Sunday, and mass was being held inside, which made for a lively and interesting visit.
After a long flight, bus/train transfers & a sleepless night the day before, it was finally time to explore Paris. Fortunately we were staying with a good friend of mine who lives in the 15th district, and the Eiffel Tower is well within walking distance. Again, trying to trick jetlag, we wasted no time and headed out. I was thrilled that the weather was as nice as it was. Thankfully it lasted the entire trip, spare a few days with overcast morning, and we had blue skies with scattered puffy white clouds.
I only had a few minutes to scramble around this vast expanse before the sun set, but I guarantee that I will be back very soon. I thought I was just there to scout for a near-future shoot, but I found myself stopping every few steps wanting to capture the natural beauty. Definitely going back to explore the next time I can…