St Louis blues

What a shame we only booked one night in St Louis. Waking up this morning to a free breakfast (recompense for the internet problems) made a good start. We then strolled downtown, through the remnants of the morning’s “women’s 5k”, to the riverside park and The Arch. When you see pictures of the St Louis Arch, it looks wide, fairly small and solid. It is actually quite narrow at the base, immensely tall (632ft) and hollow with a “tram” running up both sides. There is also (like Stonehenge) a vast underground visitor centre and museum. Of course we went to the top, from which there are wonderful views of the city (one way) and the Mississippi and Illinois (from the other side).

Today is (we learn from the badges many people are wearing) Is St Louis Train Day. This probably accounts for the profusion of model train sets in and around the hotel. I actually found it quite interesting, I am afraid to admit.

After a quick lunch (again, one toasted sandwich and one iced tea between the two of us) we went to the Amtrak station for our train to Chicago. I am writing this in my comfortable seat, with working free wifi (Virgin take note) with plenty of leg room, a buffet car and a friendly ticket collector who scanned our ticket with his hand-held device and then addressed us by our names (Virgin take note again). However our average speed for the trip is scheduled to be about 50 mph, and several miles seem to have been covered at no more than 15, so we shall see how we keep to time (more marks to Virgin on this score).

The train-using public seems to be about 50/50 black and white, but its average age is lower than ours (not difficult, I agree).

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