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.
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.
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!