Tuesday, October 13, 2009

St.Louis Missouri

Lets go flying!

This is a little out of order as we were in St. Louis before Illinois, but I was preoccupied with getting ready for the competition. That said, St Louis was so much fun for us that I had to write about it. Known as “The Gateway to the West” it features one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States, the Gateway Arch. I have wanted to see the arch since I was a little boy playing hockey back in the prairies and was actively following all the NHL hockey teams. Whenever St. Louis was shown on television during a Blues game, the arch always captured my attention and since then I have always wanted to see it in real life. Life sometimes has a funny way of working out for you.

When I was planning this trip I had made this city a definite stop and quietly planned a few activities that we would do. I did not say anything about my ideas but waited until we got here and just proceeded to have fun. The Arch was first on the list as well as a trip on the Mississippi aboard a river boat. I also wanted to visit the old St. Louis Union Station as well as a helicopter ride around the Arch depending on availability.

Our ride awaits.

The Arch is huge, 670 feet high to be exact and it dominates the skyline in a very impressive way. When you approach it you do not realize just how big it actually is until you get beside it. It is downtown, right on the waterfront of the Mississippi River and right in front of the Old Courthouse.

The old court house.

It is as impressive at night as it is in the day because of the high intensity lighting used at night to light it.

One thing about the Arch is you can not even see the entrances which are at the bottom of each end as they slope down and out of view. When we entered underneath, we were immediately reminded of the post 9/11 era, as the security measures are extreme. This is one very recognizable landmark and is protected as such. The security measures are exactly like boarding an international flight from the airport and there are lots of armed guards on patrol.

We took the elevator to the top and that alone is something very cool in itself. The arch is curved but elevators go vertical right? Here, they have a train of about eight, five person pods, all attached together like a roller coaster. As the cars go up they start to tip on their sides, the cars stop and then rotate back to align vertically again and then continue up the arch some more, and then repeat the procedure all over again.

The door in to each pod.

This is your 5 person pod for the rotating ride up!

The view from the top is awesome but you have to lean forward and lean on to the wall to peer through the tiny windows. Way down below, the people of St. Louis go about their lives while the tourists marvel at the view from this unique piece of architecture. I loved every minute of my time at the Arch.

At the top.

1 comment:

  1. It is so great to see you two having so much fun together, I am SO jealous! Looking forward to the rest and also when you come home to share some of those tips and tricks you've learned...