Saint Louis

I will start without introduction words, let’s go. I went to see St. Louis last Saturday, to see what is going on there, came back, and only now have some time to write about the trip.

St. Louis is located on the border of Illinois and Missouri states, it isn’t so far away, so trip haven’t took much time, that’s good. I departed from Chicago at 1.30 AM, and arrived to St. Louis somewhere around 7 AM, can’t remember more clearly. The trip went well; the bus wasn’t crowded, so I occupied two comfortable seats and slept more or less okay, while going through the night. The rare situation, when I can sleep in the bus is so great, and gives me strength to do more during the trip :)

Before actual boarding, while standing in the line, there was one old guy, who was happy to tell everyone, that he should have been in previous bus to St. Louis, but he had one beer, and driver didn’t let him in the bus. Thus the guy waited for about 7 hours to get into this one. I assume that decision to not let him in was a good one.

Arrival was on time and I saw a lot of clouds in the sky, and a lot of fog under the clouds. Such weather conditions wasn’t so welcoming, especially for me, I had not so much close, and fired some extra calories to heat my body. At least there was no rain, which possibly could happen because the forecast estimated the chance of rain as 30%. Fog and clouds disappeared in late morning, or closer to the noon, so I could take some good and colorful pictures of the Arc – one of the major sights in the city.

I think that it is impossible to miss the Arc; you can see I pretty much from everywhere, even from remote neighborhoods, which located higher than riverside. It is so big, something about 200 meters high, as I can remember. The interesting thing about it is that there is no security near it, no fences, nothing, so you can easily approach it and feel the strength of construction.

The Arc is located in the park near Mississippi river, which isn’t so impressive, it is kind of 100-meter wide river, everything as usual, some boats are using it, and it is great. The river quay is more interesting, because you could expect concrete structure, with relatively easy access to water, however, there isn’t such thing. What you can see is some steep downhill pawed with stones which are going far into water. Another interesting thing is that cars are allowed to be parked on this quay, there are marking for them, but you can’t do anything with cars in the park. Very strange.

Few words about the park where the Arc is standing. The park is very nice and it is hilly with large scale of ups and downs, pretty big and it has few artificial water ponds, which were empty at my time there. They were so empty, that water dried long ago…

Near the park, in the downtown, where old court building is, there are a lot of construction going on. A lot of fences, construction workers and machines, improving something… I have noticed, that there and in some other places in the city there is smell of horses, not even horses but the product of their digestion system, newer seen that before in the U.S.

While walking on central boulevard, or, it would be properly to name it as a park zone between two streets, I have seen a lot of homeless, who occupied benches there. While making photos of things in that park zone, there are a lot of thing to make photographs of, one of the homeless approached me asking if I have made picture of him, like I have nothing to do, except making photos of homeless. Anyway, he continued with usual - “Can you spare some change?” – like I have fiat money with me.

About money and coins. St. Louis is wonderful for collecting money, I have found five cents on the street. Let’s continue talking about park zone. There are a lot of figures, I especially liked two white figures of rabbits, so are so cool that many people makes pictures with them, I made it too :)

Except the rabbits in form of 1.5 meters tall figures, there are a lot of squirrels, which behaves like something in the middle between Chicago’s squirrels which run-away from people, and Indianapolis’s squirrels, which are ready to eat food from your hands. I think that city planted a lot of oaks for the squirrel’s sake only.

I have noticed that people in the city aren’t very friendly, even in Detroit people were more friendly, I guess something makes them that way, but don’t know what. Maybe a lot of parking lots in the city, or absence of big office building in downtown. There are some tall buildings – offices of AT&T, Peabody Energy, Bank of America, UMB Bank, and Wells Fargo which is located not in the downtown, but has huge office.

The city decorations include great number of special artificial cakes in different places in the city, which purpose is to remind about the celebration of 250 years from city establishment. The cakes located near important places as well as in nice places near fountains or in the parks.

Trip back to Chicago started with united station of Amtrak and Greyhound, where I had my lunch – first KFC burger in my life. Burger was okay, however it missed something important, at least I think so, and something was missing. And 10% tax on food is huge, wake up Missouri!

Bus wasn’t crowded, and I decided to occupy not only two chairs but also one more chair on opposite side of the bus, so I could lie down on three chairs and sleep to get the strength to read one of the chapters of GRE preparation book. By the way, this post is kind of preparation for the essay writing part on the exam. I have also looked at the nature behind bus’s windows, the great plains, very similar to the view of my home country part.

While leaving St. Louis we went through East St. Louis, which located on the Illinois side of Mississippi river, and it have a lot of industrial building. Second stop was at the city of Champagne, where one of Illinois universities located, nice city.

Generally speaking I liked the trip! And a photo of the Arc.

ST. Louis

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