|When I planned my stop in Denver, I was looking forward to see the Rockies... those magnificent mountains that cross all the Americas. I imagined stunning views of high peaks covered with snow, etc. Also, it was the starting point of a tour to see the Yellowstone national park. I didn't care too much about the city who stole our Nordiques :-)|
Now that I've spent a few days in
Denver, I confirm that there's not much to see inside the city
itself. It's a nice modern city, with some touches of history here
and there. The streets layout is confusing, but manageable after a
few days. They have a good transit system, that isn't too expensive.
The city is walkable, even if the
attractions are limited in town. There's the 16th Street
Mall, which is a shopping district downtown, mostly reserved to
pedestrians except for the free shuttle bus doing it from end to end.
But that's not that impressive, even if all the people rave about
it. It's officially a mile long (1.6 km), but there is the part near
the train station that is quite limited in terms of stores.
Their hockey and (American) football
venues are accessible by the light rail (an electric tramway) that
goes all over the city, but not their baseball stadium.
Why is it called the 'Mile-high City'?
Because it's located at one mile of altitude (5280 feet). There's
the inscription to prove it on the state Capitol, steps away from
downtown. Although like many forms of measurements, the precision
was debated and with time, three different locations were marked as
the mile-high designation. You can see the brass markers above and
below the inscription, on the picture on top.
More than its altitude, Denver is a
very good city to visit if you want to go see things around it.
Today, I went to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre (picture below). That's
a natural concerts venue located about 15 miles west of Denver,
right at the foothills of the Rockies. The acoustics is perfect and
many great names of the music performed at this location: The
Beatles, Sting and U2 just to name a few. Nearby, there's also the
magnificent Rockies and their dozens of national parks all over.
It's also the starting point of many tours to go in the Rockies or
further like Yellowstone.
I don't show you any picture of the
Rockies, since they are not covered with snow right now... so they're
dark and all the time I was here hidden behind clouds or fog.
Pollution is a big issue here. Even if you'll see tons of cyclists
everywhere in town, it's still a region that depends heavily on
cars... so it's highly polluted and out of the 300 days of sunshine a
year the city claims to have... I bet many have sun... but also smog.