woensdag 24 augustus 2016

At home she feels like a tourist

Last Monday dawned bright and sunny and as I wasn't expected at the office, we took our car and drove to Brussels, about 38 km from our home. The aim of our visit was the Atomium. Our Sat Nav, stubborn as she is (she's a she, called Marie Jeanne), totally ignored the signs to the Atomium as well as a side street, where we could see it beckoning in the distance. When she tried to get us to take the next turning, it turned out to be closed off for traffic. After leading us on a sight-seeing tour past the Royal Palace, we finally managed to reach the main avenue leading right up to the Atomium where, as luck would have it, we soon found a parking space. Quite a feat, I can tell you, since it was a public holiday.


I took the opportunity to pose in front of the Atomium in my new-to-me repro mid-century dress, which I'd especially chosen for the occasion. At first I was a bit reluctant to wear a repro dress, but then it dawned on me that the Atomium is wearing repro as well, the spheres' original sheets having been replaced in 2006!


The fountain was already there in 1958, as you can see in this postcard.



But enough of that, as you will probably be dying for a look inside!


As it was such a fine day, we presumed everybody would be on their way to the coast, but no: it was quite busy, with lots of tourists queuing for tickets and every imaginable language being spoken.

Left: waiting for the lift which is inside the central tube
Right: going all the way up to the top sphere
After a security check, we were ready to start the first part of our visit, and awaited our turn to take the lift up to the uppermost sphere.


The weather was glorious and so the 360° view from the top was clear.


The above two buildings are actually one and the same. It dates from 1930, but in 1958 a new, temporary façade was put in front of it to make it blend in with the rest of Expo 58.


Look at Brussels sprawled out in front of us.









This is "Mini Europe", which is nestling at the foot of the Atomium. Look, here are Bath's Circus and Royal Crescent!













For the second part of our visit, we had to descend to the ground floor again to continue with our tour, this time by stairs and escalators, leading up to middle sphere: a total of six levels.

On the first two levels, there's a permanent exhibition on Expo 58.


The stairs and railings, with their typical 1950s colours, are still the original ones from 1958.


The three next levels are reserved for temporary exhibitions.


At the time of our visit this exhibition consisted of a sound and light show called Talk and, although the light effects were spectacular at times, it was all rather dark, so that it was hard to appreciate the spheres' layout.


Then it is down again to level six, where there is a viewpoint.












A couple of steps down, you can have a peek inside the so-called Kids' sphere, where groups of children can spend the night. This must be a magical experience!









Safely back on ground level, we were starting to feel peckish, so we picked up our picnic basket from our car, and looked for a spot in the nearby Osseghem Park to eat our picnic.












Walking back, we passed the magnificent open-air theatre, called the Green Theatre (Théâtre de Verdure), formed by a series of terraces, supported by stone walls and surrounded by green hedges.


Outfit details:
Hearts & Roses repro dress, bought at Think Twice for € 4
Handbag: charity shopped
Pearls: inherited from great-aunt Josephine
Shoes: my trusted red Clarks
Cardigan: retail (had for ages)

I hope you enjoyed the visit to this unique and unusual building.

In my next post, it will be business as usual, as I've got a few more finds to share with you!

22 opmerkingen:

  1. Beautiful blue skies
    A wonderful day out and the most gorgeous dress. It really really suits you Anne and the cardi is a perfect match. Put that outfit on my list of first dabs at your clobber xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn! That list is getting quite long now ;-) xxx

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  2. This looks like such an interesting place to visit Ann! And you dress is lovely - what a bargain!

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    1. There really are quite a few interesting places to visit in Belgium, but one tends to forget, as they are so closeby. xxx

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  3. Wow thats really beautiful I love anything space agey and sci fi so thats my favorite kind of sculpture thanks so much for sharing

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    1. It's really quite something, isn't it, and definitely space agey ... xxx

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  4. Wow! It's even more incredible inside. I love that children ca spend the night in those spheres, do you think they'd let a big kid join them? xxx

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    1. Since we are both not very tall, we might try to sneak in, Vix ;-) xxx

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  5. I'm very entertained by the fact they put the linking street in from the Circus to the Crescent, just like there is in real life. I bet the model is nicer at the back than the real thing, though - Bath's older houses are elegant at the front, and a real scruffy mishmash of windows and styles behind.

    Repro suits both you and the Atomium very well. Those original railings inside are so cool.

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    1. I put that photo there especially for you, Mim! You're right about that linking street, but doesn't the real one have houses at both sides? It's really been far too long since I was in Bath ... xxx

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  6. Thank you for the tour-I had no idea you could go inside (I stupidly thought it was just a monument).

    I like your repro dress very much, and that's a terrific photo of you posing with your arms wide. Such fun.

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    1. You're welcome Goody, and I think I should be a bit more adventurous with my posing ;-) xxx

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  7. i applause you for going up and down this airy stairs!!! brave girl!
    you look picture postcard perfect in your rose dress and the 50s accessories! love it!
    big thanx for showing us the inside of the atomium - i´m kind of a nerd for "analog" technics and architecture :-) and i would like to see a shakespear play or a baroque opera in the "grünes theater"!!!
    hugs! xxxxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate! I didn't have any problems with those stairs, they were not scary at all. It is being said that the acoustics in that "grünes theater" are amazing ... xxx

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  8. Love both your repro outfits! The red and turquoise colour s scheme is gorgeous, the stair rails,oh those stair rails! This is such an incredible building, thank you so much for sharing xxx

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  9. What a delightfully mid-century place! Those spheres just scream of the whole space race of the late 50s/early 60s. The mini Europe is wonderful, I love that they chose Bath to represent England! xx

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    1. Apart from Bath, which I love, they have the Tower of London as well, right next to it in fact. I guess they also have other London landmarks, but I can't quite remember ... xxx

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  10. What an incredible deal on a Hearts & Roses dress. This frock is utterly gorgeous and looks so great on you, dear Ann.

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I was lucky with that dress, Jessica, especially as it was exactly my size! xxx

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  11. This place is super exciting!!! So futuristic and dynamic!!! The sleep over sounds cool. Our school kids did that at the London Science Museum!
    Oh, and the repo dress is gorgeous! Who cares if it is repo if it is pretty!!!x

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    1. Staying over at the London Science Museum would be quite something as well ... xxx

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