Belgium I | Vivienne Chen

My First Impressions of Belgium

Vivienne Chen December 10, 2020

When I arrived in Belgium for the first time, the first thing that crossed my mind was “I’m finally here, after what felt like decades of travelling by plane.”  

Belgium I | Vivienne Chen
© Vivienne Chen

I come from Taiwan, which is an island country with lots of tropical fruits and a diverse cuisine, and studying abroad has been my dream ever since I was a little kid. I admired other kids who had the opportunity of discovering different cultures and environments outside their home country. Although this is not my first time in Europe, I still can’t truly describe to friends and family back home what Europe is to me and how I feel about it. However, Europe is certainly a continent rich with history, art, and culture. You know you are in Europe, when you can smell bread fresh out of the oven while walking on the street and whenever you step you walk into a fairy tale story with old stone houses arranged closely together, with people walking past you or sitting outside enjoying a drink on a cozy afternoon. 

Belgium is a place full of historical architecture. The moment you step on cobblestone roads and hear the clatter of horse’s hooves hitting the road you realize that you are in Belgium. My arrival in Belgium for the first time was in the late summer, so I was fortunate enough to enjoy some of the last moments of sunshine. Since I’m a photographer one of my habits is to walk through all the streets and alleys chasing the changes in sunlight. I like to immerse myself in every instant, to capture every single one of the special little moments that are happening around me. 

Belgium II | Vivienne Chen
A Walk in Belgium © Vivienne Chen

A Walk In Belgium
This photo was taken near Rue des Fripiers. The spotlight in this picture is on the man in yellow as his clothes make him stand out and contrast with the metallic blue colour of the background. From my camera lens it looked like he was slowly walking through his past, and I was fortunate enough to capture this scene.

Belgium III | Vivienne Chen
Manneken Pis © Vivienne Chen

Manneken Pis
This photo was taken near the Manneken Pis, one of Belgium’s most iconic sculptures.

Belgium IV | Vivienne Chen
A Peek © Vivienne Chen

A Peek
While walking past an alley on a clear warm summer day in August, I was able to capture the shadows with sharp distinct shapes over the buildings. Walking further along the winding street led from an area submerged in shadows to another area bathed in sunlight.

Belgium V | Vivienne Chen
Morning of Belgium © Vivienne Chen

Morning of Belgium
This photo was taken near the Gallery. There wasn’t a lot of hustle and bustle on this weekend morning in Brussel but sunlight showered the streets. It was warm and peaceful walking along the street where restaurants were preparing to open for customers.