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Date: Sunday, July 13, 1958
Brussels, Belgium
Nice but kind of cool

Donna and I got up this morning at 6:30 for seven o’clock mass. The benches were high and wooden, something left over from Pilgrim times and very uncomfortable! They took up at least 50 different collections, and the sermon, all in Dutch, lasted a half-hour.

After eating breakfast, we took taxis to the train station, trip was from 9:30 – 2:00. Cheers – our hotel is called the Splendid! We really have a nice room though, and we have the only shower, so there has been a continuous stream of Ambassadors coming in to use it. (We four, Judy S, Otter, and Donna, and I feel like Queens!)

It’s funny how your first impressions of people change. Yesterday I wasn’t impressed with Rockney or the group at all, but last night John took Sue, Judy H, and I back to the Linx at 11:30. John danced with me (3 times!), cheek-to-cheek, and so close you couldn’t have slipped a dime in between us. (Something for the movies!) Now, I think he is loads of fun – he likes to do things too!

After lunch I slept ’til it was time for supper, and after that John took Judy H, Sue, and I to the World’s Fair, or Expo, as they call it here. It certainly is fabulous, you could walk for miles and not see everything. Our pavilion is round, and just beautiful on the outside but what a disappointment inside.

The USA Pavilion

The USA Pavilion. Image courtesy of C. Kelly Roberts via a Creative Commons license.

There is just nothing typical! We were so hungry that we zoomed up to the Brass Rail to have a hot dog and a chocolate soda (1.00)! I knew I’d do that before I left the States. The Atomium impressed me most. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful!

(Maybe I’ll have a chance to practice my French! Had a letter from Mom.)

The Atomium was built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Designed by engineer-architect AndrĂ© Waterkeyn, the structure represents an iron crystal at a magnification of 165 billion times. At the time it was created, the Atomium symbolized the bright future of science and technology. It was initially not intended to be a permanent fixture, but its popularity changed that.

The Atomium is 102 meters tall and has an iron frame that weighs 2,400 tons. The structure is composed of 9 spheres (originally made of aluminum) connected by 20 tubes, resting on 3 pillars. Several of the spheres are public spaces and are accessible via escalators and an elevator.

The Atomium

The Atomium. Image courtesy of Carl Guderian via a Creative Commons license.

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