For those I have not recently contacted, I have begun a 6 week tour through the USA. The first week has mainly been travelling. I left Dunedin at 4pm last Monday and about 17 hours later was in my hotel in Los Angeles but it was still 4pm on Monday.
It was the first time I had visited downtown LA. I stayed there in order to be near the Union Station as I began the first of many rail journeys. However I spent Tuesday wandering in the area, mainly to recover from the flight and jetlag.
I visited the very modern Catholic Cathedral then found the Walt Disney Concert Hall which was built just 10 years ago and is very modern. I was pleased to find free entry and audioguide. It is futuristic in design which is difficult to photograph and there is a roof top garden.
I was lucky that the main auditorium was open and a young woman was practising on the organ but photos were not allowed in there. I then wandered further through the city.
On Wednesday I boarded the Coast Starlight for 12 hours by train to San Francisco. I booked a roomette aalthough I was not travelling overnight but it was well worth it especially with free meals and coffee thrown in. I was a llittle disappointed in the coastal scenery.
I guess I am spoilt with the coastlines of both NZ and Australia. I am told the US coastline is more dramatic further north but not in view from the train.
After just 9 hours in a hotel I was back on the California Zephyr for 32 hours to Denver. This did provide dramatic scenery with the deserts of Nevada and the Colorado Gorge.
I was surprised at some accents I heard and discovered that among my fellow passengers was a tour group from New Zealand. There were 14 Kiwis and 3 Aussies doing a rail journey right around the USA.
I spent 2 nights in Denver and Saturday I walked the long 16th Street Mall, discovered a People's Fair where I bought lunch, and in the afternoon visited the Denver Art Gallery. It was free for the first Saturday of the month but I paid to also see the exhibtion of Modern Masters, both European and American, which was very good and closing the following day. It is also a modern design
and I saw the first of what I believe will be a lot of American Indian Art.
Sunday was back in the air, this time just over an hour flight to Rapid City in South Dakota. I am glad the shuttle insisted on picking me up at the hotel at 11.15am for a 2pm flight. The flight was delayed by thunderstorms. For a short while all outside ground staff were withdrawn due to lightning and there was a tornado watch in place. Our plane finally landed from Texas about an hour late but after boarding we were told we were overweight and 2 people had to be removed. When there were no volunteers, the last 2 to check-in were selected. Thankfully I stayed aboard and arrived Rapid City 90 minutes late.
I have joined a 7 night Coach tour here and have now completed 2 days 1 but will leave that until next time.
Church Times on See of Llandaff
1 hour ago