hestia8: (Default)
The Atomium is a massive structure...thing out near the end of one the metro lines in Brussels. It was originally built for the World Fair in 1958 (also known as Expo 58, which is a far cooler name). It's 102 metres high, and the shape represents an iron crystal multiplied 165 billion times (!!).

It was originally only supposed to last for the duration of the Expo but it proved to be so popular that it stayed open  to the public afterwards. It was closed for a big renovation in 2004, which included replacing the original aluminium spheres with stainless steel. It reopened in 2006 and now gets about half a million visitors a year, iirc (not nearly enough imo, more people should go). 

There are nine spheres in the Atomium, of which five are open to the public (although one of those is the Children's Sphere which is only for school groups). We didn't go right up to the top sphere (despite the temptation of a panorama) because the queue was massive and we'd already been in a queue for a stupid amount of time (that's the problem with tall buildings just made for climbing). 

View from outside, anyway:

outside views )
Inside the Atomium:

inside the atomium )
There was a viewing platform in one of the spheres so you can get a higher view without going up o the panorama.

looking out from one of the spheres )
hestia8: (Default)
This weekend Crishna and I went off to Brussels for a short trip and we had an EXCELLENT time. We went on the Eurostar (always a win) so it took just two hours to get there (I really love the Eurostar, people). In a lot of ways Brussels is a fairly typical European city, in that there are a lot of old tall narrow buildings, a whole heap of churches and a massive pile of chocolate to be had (SO MUCH chocolate).

We stayed at the Pantone Hotel (www.pantonehotel.com/), which is a decent hotel if you're on a low-budget but you want an interesting concept. Pantone are the people who standardise colour swatches for manufacturers. They also make a range of home products such as mugs and coasters and pots and all sorts of things I really want to own :D (I bought two little flowerpots and a card holder at the hotel and it was a strain not to buy more, haha!).

inside the hotel )

view from the hotel )
More photos to come later of the Atomium, other bits of Brussels and some of the stuff I bought. 

June 2017


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