Sunrise in the City, Chicago

We managed to cram a lot into our weekend in Chicago and by the time we went to bed on our last night I was pretty satisfied that we’d covered our “must see” hit list for our first trip - apart from one thing. When I was planning our stay I had toyed with the idea of getting up at first light at some point, to hit the park for a run and get some photos of the city while most people were still sleeping, but I’m not usually a morning person and the realist in me knew that my chances of bounding out of bed at 5:30 were pretty slim. So when I found myself suffering from insomnia the night before we left, I decided it was a sign and made the most of the opportunity.

I crept out of the hotel just before 6 and set off through the sleepy city streets.

Rounding the corner into Millennium Park, my early start was rewarded with a glimpse of something shiny through the trees.

Cloud Gate, Chicago

The Cloud Gate, or Bean as it’s affectionately known, completely deserted against the backdrop of skyscrapers dappled in the sun's early golden rays.

I sat down on the steps and gave my tired brain a minute to take in the surreal experience.

Cloud Gate Steps

It’s difficult to describe the magic of having a famous landmark, one which is usually swarming with crowds of tourists, completely to yourself. I was almost expecting some kind of fencing, or at least a secutiry guard keeping vandals away from the sculpture. But there it was, very much unobstructed, sparkling away just for me.

Eventually I was joined by some other early risers and I moved off in search of coffee, vowing to make sunrise a habit on every trip from now on. I cannot recommend it enough if you want a unique experience, get out of bed! It will be worth it I promise!

chicago bean jump
chicago bean