Or Saint Lewis as the locals have it.
Well we’re here but can report not a whole lot to do or see. We’re staying in Downtown having booked the hotel yesterday.
The place is fine, it’s in an Athletics Club and it’s just a bit tired. It’s the Hotel Nacional in Havana given a 1980s revamp of fixtures and fittings and then untouched! But the outside and the lobby are nice and it’s convenient.
Keen to see what there was to see we headed out this afternoon to ‘The Arch’ which is the monument to the pioneers who settled the West or something like that.
It’s quite spectacular if a little odd.
The trip up to the top is in a tram with cars that tilt as they go up. They’re very cramped and small but you do get a view of the inside of the structure as you go up. We enjoyed it to what we believed was the full extent of enjoyment but we were told off for not staying at the top long enough!!
What was entertaining was the film we saw when we came back to earth. It’s a documentary about the building of the arch, and why it was built. The arch itself was designed in 1959 and then completed by 1965.
There was extensive footage of the building process, complete with many workmen atop the structure with no safety harnesses, casually smoking cigarettes. The film must have been made and edited not long after the structure was completed because it was hilariously dated in style. The music was straight out of an episode of Thunderbirds which lent the whole thing an air of peril that was very entertaining. Nothing bad ever happened but the music and commentary made you think it would and that International Rescue would have to swoop in with all their modern technology to fix it!
One of the most upsetting things was that the Museum of Westward Expansion was closed. That was something I’d been looking forward to. A chance to relive my GCSE History syllabus and also to see how the story was presented. But it was not to be.
Following that we felt nothing could top our glorious film experience (and there doesn’t appear to be much else to see) so it’s dinner and planning for Nashville and Memphis. We’ll be in Air BnBs so that should be fun!