First day to wander around St Louis. Our stay in the Crowne Plaza does not include breakfast so we head downstairs and ask the concierge where we should go. Just head down Pine Street about 4 or 5 blocks and handed us this pamphlet of a bunch of places. Well we made it about a block and a half, coming across a sign that said Diner. That was good enough for me.
Big Ed's Chili Mac Diner has been open since 1960 serving up great food and putting their homemade chili on anything you can think of. I had scrambled eggs with chili, cheese and onions. Add 2 hamburgers with cheese and it is called "sling". MeAsWe had the French toast. Two ladies who were sisters were working the place with efficiency. Great place.
After breakfast, we headed over to the Old Courthouse to purchase our tickets for the Arch. They are doing some construction between the courthouse and the Arch, so tickets aren't available at the Arch. The Arch looks so close but you can't get there in a straight line but have to come in from one of the sides. On the way we pass the Old Cathedral, which might be worthwhile stopping at when we get back.
You enter the Arch by going underground, ride an elevator further down, down a ramp and some steps, finally making it to the Pods that take you to the top. Let's just say I am glad I am not tall as I climbed into the Pod. Not a long ride and you can see out the window in the Pod to the inside of the Arch. If you picture how the Arch is shaped, the Pod shifts itself keeping you level in your seat, kind of like a ferris wheel.
The windows at the top are not really that big, but enough to give you some great views of the Mississippi River, the Old Courthouse and Cardinal Stadium. Back at the bottom, we watched a movie on the building of the Arch.
After the ride we watched the movie on the building of the Arch. It really is worthwhile and you get watch it online as well.
So with the walk to the Arch, we had to head back to the Old Courthouse. We stopped at the Basilica of Saint Louis built in 1834. This was the first permanent church in St Louis and the first cathedral west of the Mississippi.
Like the last three times we were here on the bike for the IBA National Park Tour, we always seemed to skip the exhibitis in the Old Courthouse. Pictured below is the ceiling of the dome.
That filled up the morning so we headed back to the hotel to grab the car and head for the St Louis Zoo. It is advertised as free, but you still have to pay for parking, so that kind of eliminates the free part. Still worth the price. Couple of pics from the zoo.
We spend the entire afternoon at the zoo and had a great time. Thank god they have a train to get around from spot to spot. The place is quite large and it did take a toll on my ankle. Headed back to the hotel the long way. Picked up a couple National Historic Landmarks on the way back.
Scott Joplin's residence. You remember him, Ragtime King, think the movie "The Sting"
Union Station, once the world's largest and busiest train station. Built in 1894, and had 42 tracks heading into the terminal. At its peak in combined passenger service for 22 railroads, hence the name Union Station.
Christ Church Cathedral between 1859 and 1867.
The Wainwright Building was of the first skyscrapers in the country and designed by the firm Adler and Sullivan. Louis Sullivan become the father of the modern skyscraper. It influenced the design and building of future skyscrapers in the US.
That completed our day and we headed back to the hotel for a rest. Slideshow CLICK HERE