So I spent the whole day today in St Louis. A day that didn’t mean hours in the car was needed. Unfortunately I am staying so far out of the centre I needed to drive in. It was only 20 minutes.
My night was not the most comfortable, this motel room is awful. The smell is just unreal, and you can see marks on the skirting where animals have sprayed. The bed is uncomfortable, and the room above must have a dog because something was running around on the wooden floor all night. Not sure I got much sleep really, and feeling pretty tired this morning.
You can see the arch the whole drive into the centre, it was pretty cool. It also meant I knew where I was going, let’s face it the arch has to be the first stop.
I still remember you running us through the St. Louis airport to get a quick glimpse of the arch before grabbing a connecting flight. It’s quite nice to see it for more then a split second.
First challenge was parking; ouch. $3 flat then $3 for every 20 minutes! Suddenly this became an expensive day.
It was also really ice to actually walk around, I have not done much walking recently.
I headed towards the arch, but there was some construction work so I had to walk the long way round. I got in the queue for tickets, and people were kicking off as they were so busy. I got to the front of the queue and told the woman behind the desk I was travelling alone. She gave me a ticket and said to head straight there, they were always looking for single riders. I walked over to the entrance and through security. I gave another woman my ticket and got in the very long queue. Not even two minutes later a guy asked me if I was travelling alone. He gave me a big plastic ticket with a number on and ushered me to the front of the queue. Result! Walking past all the other people took ages, I would have been in that queue for hours, it was the Burj Kalifa all over again. We were asked to queue up outside our designated numbered doors. The door was 4 feet high and 1.5 feet wide. Tiny. The reason why became very apparent.
The ‘pods’ we were travelling to the top in were tiny. Like little capsules. Inside were 5 bucket style seats. It was very very cozy. We started the accent; which was a weird feeling! It’s not an elevator, it’s a travellator. It’s an arch so it can’t go straight up. As it goes up, it rotates to keep you level, kind of like a bumpy sway motion. It was a very long four minutes climbing. It was worth it though to see the view from the top!
There are tiny windows at angles looking down over St. Louis, pretty cool looking place. It also gave me a great view of the Cardinals baseball team warming up. Going on the amount of red shirts around today, there is a game on tonight.
Back on the ground I went into a small theatre and watched a movie on the construction of the arch. It was really fascinating. The whole structure had to be self supporting, and according to the movie, no one lost their lives in the construction! Back in the 60s health and safety was not exactly a thing! They even had to separate the two sides by four feet to place the last piece in. Similar concept to a key stone.
After the film I went for a walk around even more of St. Louis, which was now crawling with red shirts heading to the baseball game. You could hear the music blaring from the stadium and people had set up stalls selling merchandise on the street.
My next stop was the Old Courthouse. Inside it had loads of different American flags, all with different amounts of stars handing from a big dome ceiling. The building was beautiful. I wandered around a little bit, but walking around felt a little strange, almost like I was not supposed to, or I should have paid. I then came across a guy working as a tour guide. He asked all the standard questions and I explained about driving route 66. Then he gave me something I have been looking for since I set off. A full pull out route 66 map. Detailing exactly where the road is! I could not believe it! I have looked at every stop for something similar, even in gift shops. Nothing. He just pulls out a map and says it’s free. Yes!
After leaving the Courthouse, I figured I would walk down to the baseball stadium and get a feel for the atmosphere. People were everywhere! Ticket to its were stopping me at every turn selling tickets out of their jacket pockets, music was blaring, and snack bars were lining the streets. Too many people for my liking, especially when I realised I would have to walk against all of the crowd to get back to the car. After eventually remembering where I parked, and taking out a second mortgage to pay for the parking I headed out of town. Fortunately I was going against the traffic.
Back at the motel, and the smell of my room hit me like a baseball to the head. The floor also had weird crawly things over it, like small catapillars. Gross. A spray of deodorant fixed the smell temporarily. I really wish I had a plan B for this place. Debating sleeping in the car.
Oh well, wonder if I will get much sleep tonight.
Night dad x