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Last updated 11pm Sunday 16 September 2012

September 13 - St Louis

First thing is first.  The attraction for which David had come to St Louis - the ride up 'The Arch'
Do not attempt this if you get claustrophobic.
There are 8 cabled elevators that look something like a bubble from the inside.  There are 5 seats and a curved low ceiling.  The door has two glass panels so when the bubble has cleared the narrow parts of the climb at least you can see the stair well.  David looks a little excited there.  I think he is wondering if he will fit.

Inside the bubble.  Just enough room for 5 but we only had 4 so it was a little roomier but not by much.


The ride up takes approximately 4 minutes.  The views from the top of 'The Arch' are well worth the cramped ride up. Here are but a few of the views.  We took so many we lost count. 

The Mississippi


St Louis - Downtown.  You may notice how empty of traffic the streets are.  It is like that all the time.  It is a very quiet and relaxed city.  Our Hotel is to left (centre) - two small matching towers opposite the park.  We had a room on the 24th Floor. 


More of the "Downtown"


Tow of the many bridges that cross the Mississippi.  Also pictured is part of the promenade park lands.  It is extremely nice around this area.  Lots of trees and parks.  The Mississippi is very low due to drought. It usually comes right up to the road - you can see how far it has receded.


This is what The Arch looked like at the top.  We thought it might be really narrow with not much head space but it was quite roomy and open.  You might be able to see the little windows everyone was looking through.  There is also a leaning platform to help you get the right angle for you photo.


Here is a very arty view of 'The Arch' from above. It is 630 feet high. Before we journeyed up we watched a short documentary on how it was constructed. 


The stairwell down to our 'bubble'.


The attraction also had a museum and a couple of special movie theatres to enjoy.  We watched a movie about the building of the Arch.
However, I preferred a look around the museum.  We spent and hour in here.


I think these two pictures speak for themselves.  The museum depicted how America history evolved.


A view of 'The Arch' from the park


Pictured below is the St Louis Science Center.  It had some really interesting memorabilia/history about US space exploration.  It was a very interactive place.  We got to use a flight simulator. It is quite a maneuver to land a light aircraft. We also saw the Rocky Mountain Express screening in the IMAX theatre.  Exceptional to say the least but if you are prone to motion sickness buyer beware!


Some space history here for you. The first manned mission.


We were the last ones out of the Science Centre.  It is a wonderful feeling hearing a succession of security guards sending messages up the corridor that "there are still two people to come".  I think they wanted to lock up quickly.

We took a drive down the original route 66 and look what we found.  The original rest area.  It was a bit creepy around here.  David decided to take the scenic route through several very poor parts of town, past the sewerage treatment plant and then past the high security prison to get to here.  The bridge is now only used as a cycling or walking bridge.  It was the big bridge over the Mississippi in the 1930's and 1940's for those crossing the country.  It is quite a landmark.  Pictured below the bridge are the restrooms in the "shed".


From here we drove over another nearby bridge into Illinois and back over another bridge further down back into Missouri back in time for dinner.

Stay with us as we are on our way to Ridgley,  Tennessee tomorrow to be reunited with friends we have not seen in 10 years.

September 14 - St Louis to Ridgley TN

St Louis has been a bit of a surprise.  There are quite a few attractions here.  For example here is the view from our Hotel room at night.  You may notice - quiet streets.  Our last night time view of St Louis.

On our way out of town we took a few happy snaps.  I rather liked this building.

Down town view .... not too much traffic as you can see.

Going past the ice hockey center I spot some rather interesting statues


Oh we just had to include our dear sweet navigation system TOM TOM.  TOM never let us down. You may notice the rather hi tech way it is attached to the car.  It is marvelous what you can do with an elastic band, a paper clip, and two cables!

Quiet freeways leading out of town

And now to somewhere even quieter .................seems all road work ends at the Tennessee boarder.

We were visiting some very dear friends of our, Bob and Jeanne.  It has been 10 years since we last visited but the wonders of face book, email and telephone have kept us in contact all these years.  It was like not time had passed at all.  

Pictured below is TEME - Bob and Jeanne's little girl  or should I say big girl. 


As you can see she is a big girl alright.  Sweet natured and very well behaved.


Pictured below is Teme's son, Pucky

It was a joy to be able to relax and spend the time in diverse conversations on the back patio.  Jeanne makes honey bird nectar whilst I am there and the humming birds come from all directions for a feast.



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