Sunday, February 3, 2008

Name this Mystery City!

Michael and I left Belgium again two weekends ago, and added another country to our list of places visited. This is probably the single easiest mystery city to identify in the whole world, due to the copious amounts of recognizable landmarks scattered throughout it. We like having contests that everyone can win, so that no one feels left out of the game. :)

To start off our day, we took a bus downtown, and walked down a large avenue filled with stores and cafes, until we found ourselves at the base of a giant archway:

Next we made our way down to the big river, where Michael made fun of the people taking rides on the sight-seeing boats:

We posed for pictures in front of the big tower:

Then wandered around until we discovered a large building with a gilded dome:

And we walked over a bridge adorned with statues:

Soon we found ourselves in a well-manicured garden inhabited by marble statues and two big fountains:

At the end of the garden path was a giant glass pyramid stuck right in the middle of the courtyard of a gorgeous old museum with beautiful architecture.

Crossing over the river once again, we found ourselves in front of a massive cathedral:

The magnificence of this building is in the fine details of the stonework and glasswork:

These pictures are really hard to take - the interior of the Cathedral is dark, and getting a clear picture requires a very steady hand!

On day two of our weekend, we walked down to this building. The sign outside claims that it is the oldest observatory still in operation in the world.

We walked down to one of the large cemeteries in this city, and found some notable tombs.

A simple resting place for the mathematician Henri Poincare:

The often-visited gravestone of the author Sartre:

And Michael's favorite photographer, Man Ray (unconcerned, but not indifferent):

Finally, the astronomer Verrier:

In a city this large, it's hard to see everything in a single weekend. Luckily, we'll be going back in only two weeks to experience this city once again. The train ride from Brussels is only 55 Euros (round trip), and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes, so it is easily accessible to us year round!