If you’re in a foreign country without a guide (AKA, on the budget DIY tour) and want some memories in the form of pictures to take back home… sometimes you need to do a little guesswork. Taking pictures of everything is possible, but impractical. Also, taking pictures of EVERYTHING means you might miss seeing something awesome because your eyes are glued to the screen of your phone/camera. So, while in Brussels the girls and I determined How To Tell If Something Is Important (and therefore, whether or not you should take a picture).
- There is a statue of a man on a horse.
Of course, usually statues in and of themselves are important, but sometimes you never know if there is historical significance or if the statue/sculpture is just really fantastic art for the elaborate fountain. My first hard and fast rule to Finding Important Things is this: men on horses are always important. They usually end up being kings, princes, war heroes, or other famous people. Since you don’t have a tour guide, feel free to make up your own story. Or you could google it.
- There is an elaborate garden.
Most likely someone royal decided the area wasn’t pretty enough and decided some grass/flowers/trees should be planted. Make up your own story about how the garden/park/green space came to be. Or, again, google it. Bonus if there’s a sign telling you what the garden/park’s name is – easier googling.
- You feel like taking a picture.
Most likely it is a pretty building, or a statue, or a fountain, or a landscape. Even if taking a picture of it makes you feel like a tourist, if you have the urge to take a picture of it… it is important. Regardless of historical significance, I just like pretty European architecture, so I tend to take a lot of pictures (like a tourist) wherever I go. But my scrapbook will be filled with important pictures when I go back home!