St. Louis Trip, Day 3, Sunday, July 26, 2015
Sunday afternoon, Susan Polgar and Paul Truong had generously arranged for a free trolley tour of St. Louis for participants and their families. The trolley drivers were very knowledgeable and told us about all the interesting sites.
Susan Polgar rode in our trolley. To start the trip, the driver announced that there would be two stops: one at the World Chess Hall of Fame, and the other near the Gateway Arch for photos. We had to make our stops brief, and return to the trolley promptly; the driver joked that for insurance purposes he had to make sure he brought at least 75% of us back.
Below are shots of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (which, from photos, looks absolutely magnificent inside--covered with murals), and the City Museum, which has a huge outdoor playground, a school bus extending out from the roof, and a Ferris Wheel on top of the building.
We saw gated streets, heard about the old electric street cars (which they are trying to bring back), and went through "The Loop" where, supposedly, the best cheesecake is served. We also saw the Walk of Fame and Fitz's Root Beer Microbrewery.
Most of the buildings were brick or stone. Our driver told us that there was a fire in 1849, and after that, all new buildings had to be fireproof; however, this wasn't enforced in residential areas. The huge Forest Park, which we passed, used to have crime. But the city took the park back. We also glimpsed the Missouri History Museum and the oldest brick farmhouse west of the Mississippi.
At ponds and water fountains throughout the city, there were children wading and swimming and adults relaxing in the water! St. Louis is hot enough in the summer that they made it legal for everyone to cool off at every public fountain!
At the World Chess Hall of Fame we had just enough time to go inside and see the gift shop, where I bought a few postcards. We didn't have time enough to see the actual hall of fame. But we could see people playing chess across the street in front of the Kingside Diner!
I found it fascinating to learn about all the neat places we drove by in St. Louis. The only drawback was that I couldn't get many pictures from the trolley or stop to tour more of the attractions. It was like an appetizer to a delicious meal. One would need a whole week free to savor the meal! We only had time for the appetizer. But it was good.