Belgium, briefly

architecture, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

Above: A duo poses for a picture in front of Manneken Pis, a tiny bronze statue of a young boy urinating. I like taking pictures of people taking pictures, this one has a quite comical element. August 10, 2014.

Not an awful lot to say in this post, was only briefly in Belgium. I will say that Manneken Pis, a small statue of a young boy urinating, is far too popular.

The amount of people around and photographing the statue in the heart of Brussels is baffling. I almost feel bad contributing to the hysteria by posting three photos of the statue. I’ll admit, it is kind of cute, and the figure is often dressed in different costumes – which is probably charming. But with that said, I still don’t understand the draw of this little character.

 

 

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

Gorgeous turquoise ceiling of a Brussels church.

The Atomium - design to resemble an atom - was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

The Atomium – design to resemble an atom – was built for the World Exposition of 1958.

 

Town of Adventure – Chamonix, France

Landscapes, Photography, Sports, Street, Travel

Above: View of flower boxes, mountains and the river that runs through the town of Chamonix, France, July 20, 2013. 

Following the fantastic bike ride through Burgundy wine country, the adventure town of Chamonix, France, only 190 miles south-east, was a logical next stop. Surrounded by mountain fortresses, Chamonix is situated right on the border with Italy and Switzerland. It is perhaps the most accessible and popular gateway to explore the vast Alps.

Under foot a cold, silty, glacial-fed river bisects town. Overhead clouds veil and expose mountain peaks, gondolas whisk explorers in a web-like maze, climbers tackle treacherous peaks, and dozens of paragliders waft down and around in strong wind-currents.

The town itself is a resort town Рcrowded, lots of shopping, and lots of people tromping around in mountaineering gear. Needless to say the reason for visiting was not to explore then town Рbut the surroundings.  Those surroundings will be featured in future posts Рparticularly the Aiguille du Midi, an intense, two-gondola trip that ascends sheer-rock faces to an astounding 12,605 ft. (3,842 m,) in roughly 40 minutes.

Paragliders pepper the sky, cable-car wires hardly be seen stretching from one mountain peak to the other.

Paragliders pepper the sky, cable-car wires can hardly be seen stretching from one mountain peak to the other.

Being pulled on a bicycle through the main square in Chamonix, mountain peaks projecting in the background.

Being pulled on a bicycle through the main square in Chamonix, mountain peaks projecting in the background.