Chicago: Lake, River & Fountains (United States)

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(Navy Pier)

Navy Pier is Chicago a.k.a Windy City's most visited attraction; 50 acres of park and promenade, 18 hole mini golf crystal gardens, the Shakespeare theatre and the skyline stage, all marvelously facing the vast Lake Michigan. When it was first in operation during World War I & II, the Pier served as a military training site. Later it fell into disuse and was finally re-developed into an urban entertainment facility. The indoor include a fascinating food court serving food from all over the world, shopping arcades, an IMAX theatre and a children's museum, outdoor, there are plenty of rides, including a giant wheel and a carousel; basically, all possible kind of safe entertainment under one roof. There are frequent lake tours on the Michigan and we chose a 30-minute boat cruise named as 'Chicago by Lake Michigan.
The other attraction that dragged me towards it was one of Chicago's most popular attractions; the Buckingham Fountain. One of the largest in the world, it was dedicated to the people of Chicago in 1927 along with a fund of $300,000 to ensure that the tax payers are not burdened to maintain the fountain. Designed to represent Lake Michigan with four sea horses that symbolized the four states touching the lake; Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, the fountain, indeed was very beautiful. Every hour there is a major water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. Beginning in the evening, the fountain's water display is accompanied by a light and musical show, turning the entire area into a fantasyland.

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(Buckingham Fountain)

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(Agora)

Talking of sculptures and fountains, it would be unfair if I miss out on Agora. Imagine a stroll in a park with hundreds of headless figures, sounds scary, doesn’t it? But it didn’t look scary to us when we saw Agora…wow, that’s what instantly came out from all of us. More than a hundred sculptures of people (only legs and waist) posing to walk away somewhere, stands frozen in Grant Park. It’s amazing, as the cast iron figures all look similar to each other but when seen closely are distinctly different and each one has its own characteristic. Agora, somehow reminded me of the Terracotta warriors of Xi’an in China.

The last but probably not the least is the Water Arc on the Chicago River. I never miss out on that ‘phenomenon’ and wish sometimes our boat will pass from below the arc instead of waiting for the water to stop. The Centennial fountain on the north bank of the Chicago River shoots an arc of water with terrific force, so much that it is perfectly lands on the opposite bank of the river, creating a huge arc across it…to good to even watch. I am eagerly waiting for one such day when the arc will be on top of our heads and we will remain dry…high hopes!

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(Arc Fountain)