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Day 5 - Getting a first taste of Chicago

After a proper sleep I got up and started to discover the apartment a bit more. Everything looked quite old and run down but at the same time also homey. Most important however everything worked, starting from the light, the water, the warm shower and the Wi-Fi so what more did I need. After a good shower and some leftovers from the trip that became my breakfast I finally also met my host. A very friendly and laid back guy who had been living in California for a while, too.  Then it was time to get ready and start going, I finally wanted to go and see Chicago. For so many years I had this city on my list, finally I made it. With the pink line I headed downtown. As it was already 11.30 I decided to have an early lunch to begin with. After that I made my way to the Millennium Park, a really wonderful place. I passed by the Chicago Art Institute, spend quite some time at the Cloud Gate taking a vast amount of pictures from all kinds of angels and had a look at the large music pavilion and the crown fountain as well as the gardens around. After that I entered the Taste of Chicago food festival that took place right in Grant Park. I picked up some free samples and strolled down the stands. I ended up at the Buckingham Fountain which is really impressive and which gave me also a first good view on the skyline of Chicago. I exited the park and crossed the street in order to continue along Lake Michigan heading towards the Museum Campus. I went along the shore all the way until I reached the Adler Planetarium. The view of the skyline seemed just getting better and better with every step I went on. Unfortunately the weather had turned from over casted into light rain. I was therefore glad that there was a bus line operating from the Planetarium back to downtown. I went on the bus 146 until it reached the loop from where I again got on the L train going all the way back to Randolph and Wabash, the stop closest to the Chicago Cultural Center which I visited next. It was a good idea to spend some time indoors as the rain got even stronger. The visit to the Chicago Cultural Center was pleasant, there were several interesting exhibitions and the building itself was really nice, too. Also in the museum I picked up a brochure on events organized in the Grant Park and I noticed that there was a free classic concert the same night taking place in the pavilion in Millennium Park. However, the concert did not start before 8 pm and I still had quite some time. I considered returning to my accommodation but instead decided to stay in town. Luckily the rain had slowed down so I took the time to walk a bit around downtown taking pictures of the skyscrapers and had also some dinner. Around 7.30 pm I was back at the Millennium Park. I was lucky as I still got a seat. The concert started at prompt 8. The Grant Park Orchestra performed pieces of Stephen Sondheim who at age 85 was in the audience and present during the concert. The performance was really wonderful and featured besides the orchestra also three soloists, two vocal and one piano. The show ended at 10 pm and I went straight back to the L train and returned to my accommodation in Pilsen. I went to bed soon after I returned, tired but happy.

Cloud Gate in Millennium Park

A night with the Grant Park Orchestra

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