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St. Louis: wrap-up
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-07-25 19:25:51 | Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Keywords: karma, tourists, UNESCO
Like Pittsburgh and Detroit I recently visited, St. Louis had its peak in the 1950s. Since, it has lost half of its population. The Arch was built as a symbol of what St. Louis was capable of doing and present a brilliant future. Yet, despite some efforts, the city is still struggling. Hopefully for the population, they have their sports teams and beer (St. Louis is home of the famous Budweiser).

I had to stop in St. Louis because it was like a missed connection. Back in 1997, I was at my last session at the university, bored and tired, and I decided to visit a friend in St. Louis area. It was my first vacation on my own ever, my first plane flight too. And I caught a virus in the plane... 24 hrs after my arrival in St. Louis, I was sick like a horse and spent my entire week of vacation in my hotel room, drinking milk shakes. Yet, it didn't discourage me from travelling again! But it was a joke to say I had spent a week in the city and I had visited nothing... I hadn't even saw the Arch! Now the situation is corrected.

Just like for my other stops in Canada and USA, I won't pretend I fully explored the city... but I did see what most tourists visit and a few other things. Thus, I can now say I visited the city.

Besides personal vengeance on destiny, I also needed to be in St. Louis to visit the Cahokia Mounds. Certainly not the most spectacular site... but a very important one to understand what was here before the arrival of the Europeans... and that civilization existed before Columbus. I'll see plenty more pre-Columbian sites while in Mexico and Central America, but this one is very North which makes it special.

Yes, I've seen the Arch from every angle and I climbed it. Even if it was a terrifying moment up there (and the ride up wasn't fun either), I did face my fears and pushed my boundaries a bit more. Of course, it's THE touristic thing to do in St. Louis... but touristic attractions are there for a reason, and it's not just to withdraw money out of your pocket... it's because they represent something worth seeing or experimenting.

Downtown St. Louis is relatively new, except for a few old structures. But on my locations, like the Renaissance and the Sheraton hotels, they wanted to give a very old look... by doing some trompe-l'oeil paintings throwing us back to the Roman times, as if they wanted to recover a form of glory they lost in the last 50 years or so.

It was a nice stop for the reasons above, but if I hadn't had to come for the UNESCO site nearby, I could have skipped it.

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