Texas-A trip that was made to beg- part 2
-What is promised is debt and as I had said here is the continuation of our trip through the United States of America, and without further delay we go there.
seventh day---goodbye Amarillo, Hello San Antonio
-After spending six days in the warm company of our dear friends Jim, Linda and Emma, it was time to continue our journey to the southeast of the state, we would make what would be the longest route of our trip that took us from the city of Amarillo to San Antonio, for this we left in the direction of Lubbock on I-27, after Lubbock we changed to US-84 E, a highway similar to our national ones, along which we would make part of the route, along with others such as US- 283, US-87 which we would ride until we entered I-10 in the city of Comfort.
-In total we traveled 538 miles, or what amounts to the same 833 kilometers, this was one of the best trips we did on American roads, we decided to leave the highways for part of the route and travel on smaller roads, passing through small towns like, Snyder, Lawn, Goldsboro, Coleman, Rockwood among others, we stopped to eat at one of them. At least for me it was the driving tour that I enjoyed the most, despite also being the most tiring, for everyone.
During this journey I got some of the images I had always wanted to do, such as the eighth in the gallery above. a very long road totally deserted and with those clouds hanging from the sky that are very reminiscent of the intro of the Simpsons, and those houses on the edge of the road with their fence and a large garden.
In one of the stops that we made throughout the 8-hour trip between Amarillo and San Antonio, I was able to capture this panoramic image, the intention was to capture the dimension of what our eyes perceived live and direct, for this I recommend seeing the larger image by clicking on it.
Driving along one of the few two-way highways that we traveled, in this region after passing Abilene we found immense extensions of land full of windmills and machinery for the extraction of oil.
Well into the afternoon we arrived in San Antonio, in the middle of heavy rain, as you can see in the video recorded by Beatriz. After a few km we arrived at the hotel, we did the Check-in and we went out to walk through its streets for a while.
It was the first time we went out to see a city at night and I have to say that it is certainly a gift for the eyes to see those tall buildings illuminated, although not everything was skyscrapers, we also saw beautiful illuminated cars, some restored houses, churches...
But without a doubt, what caught our attention the most was a very tall and well-lit tower, a great distance separated it from us, but we gradually approached it, enjoying the city, quite calm indeed, until we placed ourselves at its doors and we saw that it was "The Tower of the Americas"
A video recorded by Beatriz during the ascent to the tower of the Americas.
Images of everything we did and could see in The Tower of the Americas.
-How could it be otherwise, we went up to this tower that was built in 1968 and has a height of 230 meters, and without a doubt it was 48 dollars well amortized, I went crazy to take pictures, a folder attests it, after we stayed Satisfied with the viewpoint, we toured the tower seeing the murals where the story of San Antonio is told, and what a coincidence that the Kingdom of Castilla y León appears in one of them.
The regular ticket also included the viewing of a documentary about Texas in the 4D cinema that the Tower has, without a doubt an enjoyment, especially for Hermes, who loved the documentary.
Once we finished we took some pictures at the gates of the tower, they had illuminated trees decorated and both Bea and Hermes wanted to take some pictures, after that it was time to return to the hotel, although on the way back we stopped at a park that it had a giant panther decorated entirely with polished stones.
eighth day---Tomorrow in San Antonio and drive to Houston
After a good breakfast, we were ready to hit the streets of San Antonio, this time in daylight.
-August 09 was one of the best used days of the 14 we spent in Texas, this day we planned to visit the historic center of San Antonio, travel to Houston and finish the afternoon in Galveston.
After walking a few minutes we are almost in the center of San Antonio, where we can already see some of the tallest buildings in the city, and also the beautiful San Antonio town hall (the second image in the gallery), walking a little further towards the center we find the beautiful cathedral of San Fernando, causing a great contrast between the modern buildings that surrounded it and itself, in one of the adjacent buildings you can see the mythical fire escapes that we have seen so much in the cinema .
A few meters from the San Fernando Cathedral, we find the old Justice of the Peace of the city, as a curious fact we will see that almost all the old courts that we saw shared architectural details. It was guarded by a monument in honor of the first 56 civil settlers of San Antonio from the Canary Islands by order of Felipe V, this group of pioneers from the Canary Islands formed the first organized civil government in Texas and founded the town of San Fernando de Bexar in 1731. Right next to this monument we find a beautiful fountain in honor of Justice.
San Antonio is one of the largest cities in the state of Texas, its main monument is the Alamo, where a crucial military conflict in the Texas revolution took place, it consisted of a 13-day siege, from its beginning on February 23 until the final assault of March 6, 1836, those events have inspired many books and movies, the last movie of the year 2004 entitled "The Alamo- The Legend", but being there to see it was magnificent, but San Antonio has much more to see, then we will go touring the most emblematic places of the city.
Here I leave the video of some funny squirrels that we found playing next to the Alamo.
For the end I leave a few loose images, first of all the emblematic Aztec theater, some images of the river walk....
-At around 12:30 we left San Antonio to go to Houston, but I have to say something negative about San Antonio, it was the city where we saw the most homeless people by far, and as Hermes said a couple of times, some of his streets, despite being main and busy, smelled strongly of urine, although I think this may be due to the canal that crosses the city.
This was another one that the three of us enjoyed a lot, on these lines you will find a selection of images of the journey including my food that day, we decided to eat in a rest area to be able to get to Houston at a good time and try to get to Galveston.
After about 3 or 4 hours of traveling by road we found the city of Houston, and despite the fact that my friend Jim had warned me that it was a very busy city of vehicles, I did not expect what I found, here is a video that testifies, this was the only place where the GPS failed us, although it was surely due to the large amount of construction that was taking place on the roads of Houston.
-After checking in at the hotel we had booked in Nassau Bay, right in front of the Space Center, we decided to pack up and go to Galveston to enjoy, even if it was just a bit of the beach, we chose the East Beach, since Galveston has a lot of coastline, but we wanted to swim next to the Pleasure Pier amusement park.
Panoramic that I captured that afternoon of the small beach area where we were, without a doubt it is a gift for the eyes to see the Pleasure Pier amusement park on the sea.
From our hotel to Galveston we were separated by about 50 minutes by car, it may have been a little longer due to road works, when we arrived it was already almost 07:00 p.m, but we had time to enjoy a good time.
Day 9--- visit to NASA Space Center
-This day was very special for the three of us, since the visit to the space center in Houston had been one of our first planned visits since we began to prepare the trip back in the year 2020. Since the `doors of the space center opened to At 10:00 a.m. we didn't have to get up very early that morning, plus we just had to cross the road to get to the space center.
-I would love to explain everything we saw there in more detail, but that would require an entry dedicated only to this day.
Without a doubt, the place is really worth it, we entered as soon as the doors opened and they had to invite us to leave at 05:00 p.m., we did not realize it but the day disappeared very quickly, although we were able to visit the entire center Let's go with the images of our visit.
Before entering the center there were already planes, a Falcon 9 from Space X and the impressive 747 with a replica of the Transvordaor, for all astronomy fans this is a real gift for the eyes.
As soon as you enter you find a 1:1 size replica of a lunar landing module, space suits and a model of the ISS (international space station) although it was to scale it was equally impressive.
After watching a video where the North American space race was told, we went to one of the rooms that I liked the most, in it we could see the Mercury 9 spacecraft, a reentry module used in the Apollo missions, which seemed simply spectacular to me. especially because of how small it was. Right next to it there was a recreation of the stay of the astronauts on the moon, accompanied by the lunar Rover, in the corridor that communicated with the next room there were many of the scientific equipment, such as insulators in which the lunar rock samples were analyzed, etc. ..., also there, we were able to touch a bit of the Moon and see the equipment and food used in the Apollo missions. That we were satisfied we went to the next room where we found a replica of Skylab, the first space station that NASA put into orbit, inside we could see some mannequins that represented what astronauts normally did in the station.
Before continuing our tour we came across a hall where the shuttle mission insignia were framed, the next stop was known as "Independence Plaza" where the Boeing 747 is located next to the replica of the shuttle placed on top, this configuration is used to transport the shuttles to the launch area. To access it you have to climb some stairs, inside the 747 there was a lot of information, explanatory videos and even some game so that the children could load the Shuttle on top of the 747. After that we went up a little more and entered the replica of the shuttle, which It was recreated with great detail, they even had a WC, curious to see where the astronauts could relieve themselves, but without a doubt what I liked the most was seeing the chamber where the space suit and the control cabin were placed, the latter with the control panel turned on, simulating operation. As soon as we saw everything, we went down the stairs, walked a little under the gigantic 747 and then went over to see the no less impressive Falcon 9 from Space X, which by the way has some offices a few meters from the space center.
After finishing in Independence Plaza, we entered the entrance hall area again and went to the Mars section where we were very entertained with some experiments that they had prepared for the visitors, we saw a lot of interesting information about the plans to visit the planet red, we even put touch a little piece of Mars. After that we went to visit a section where you could see how the impacts of objects at high speed in space affected different materials. Shortly after we began to get hungry so we decided to go eat, we accessed a gigantic room, full of people, there was a variety of dishes, salads, roast meat, pizza, we opted for hambuergers with their potatoes, especially because it was the fastest moving line, and 30 minutes later we had the documentary "Space Explorers" showing on an IMAX screen in the space center.
After the documentary ended, we booked a ticket to visit the Rocket Park, with great luck, since it was the last visit of the day to the site where they have different types of rockets, engines and the undisputed protagonist, the Saturn V, which was one of the most impressive things we could see, the images speak for themselves, simply incredible to be able to be there contemplating this magnificent work of engineering, also knowing that the three astronauts were mounted on the tip and that the rest of the rocket was just fuel and engines to break free from earth's gravity.
Once we finished seeing the Rocket Park, we returned to the space center and visited the section dedicated to the Artemis mission, NASA's new mission to take astronauts back to the Moon, a few minutes later a security guard invited us to go out and it was 05:00 p.m and the center had to close its doors, without a doubt it would have been great to have one more hour to have seen some things in more detail.
Day 10--- Houston Science Museum and Galveston Beach Afternoon
-On August 11 we had bought tickets for the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, without a doubt it was also an entertaining day, since after the museum we wanted to go to Galveston to spend the afternoon again, since it was our last day in Houston and we had been wanting to walk and swim a little more in the Gulf of Mexico.
I don't want to get too involved, but it should be noted that the museum has an impressive collection of fossils, without a doubt it is a joy to be able to see such a collection, from 09:30 a.m. when we entered until 11:00 a.m. when we had the projection in the planetarium we were in "Morian Hall Of Paleontology" there we saw fossils of all kinds, although for me the fossilized trunks were my favorites, we also learned about human evolution, when we wanted to realize it was time to go see the projection in the planetarium, we had tickets to see "Pasport to Universe" a projection narrated by Tom Hanks that left the three of us simply amazed, we liked it so much that as we left we bought tickets for another projection at 02:00 p.m.
After the screening and before lunch we went up to the second floor to learn a little about the wildlife in Texas, to go through the Cabinet of Curiosities, which was a very interactive place, Hermes opened all the drawers, and in each one of them had different types of curiosities, without a doubt the name was perfect for that room in the museum.
Then we went to see an impressive section of shells, although the most impressive part of that part was being able to see the gigantic collection of minerals that the museum has, this was one of the rooms that we liked the most, especially Hermes, who spent the battery of his camera photographing minerals.
We ate and went outside to drink coffee since we could enter and leave the museum without any problem throughout the day, something that we thought was great, we saw one of the few roundabouts on our trip, a sundial / fountain , quite large by the way, which was at the door of the museum and later we returned to the planetarium to see another projection, this time referring to black holes. After the screening ended, we went through the gift shop and headed for the hotel.
On the way to the hotel we found a residential neighborhood, which had the appearance of being an upper class neighborhood, and again we found that what we were seeing was very familiar to us.
-We arrived at the hotel, we took all the things we needed and we went quickly to the beach, we did not want to lose a single moment of the afternoon, since it was the last time we would be in Galveston, we wanted to bathe, walk for a while, I had in mind capture a timelapse of the sunset and we had also planned to have dinner in some of the restaurants near the beach.
After bathing for a while, we walked along the beach, we saw a few flocks of pelicans in formation and then we went looking for a place to have dinner, in the end it was Hermes who decided that what he wanted was a hamburger, so we left to a Wendy's, since we had never eaten there, although I have to say that I keep the Whataburger as my favorite burger place.
It was a pity that just after dinner we realized that we could have dined at the Forest Gump themed restaurant, but anyway what are we going to do, at least we were able to take some images on the bench where Forest Gump says his mythical phrase, for those who don't remember, Galveston is where Forest meets Lieutenant Dann and they end up setting up the Bubba Gump company.
Day Eleven---Houston to Irving
-On August 12 we were already seeing the end of our long-awaited vacations, but we still had two days to go, we got up, gathered everything and prepared to leave the automobile hotbed that is Houston, and there is little to tell about this day , we spent more or less 5 hours on the road, and in the afternoon we arrived at the hotel that we had reserved again in Irving due to its proximity to the DFW airport, which in turn was 15 minutes from Dallas, this time the hotel had pool so we spent the afternoon in the pool and resting, we had to regain strength to squeeze the last day to the fullest.
Some images of the road trip, we found a caravan of custom cars and some restored ones that undoubtedly attracted a lot of attention.
We stopped to eat at a Taco Bell, and we continued the march, about 120 km before reaching Dallas we stopped at a rest area that had everything, we had seen more areas like this but we had not stopped at any yet, we were surprised how It was well equipped, there were interactive games, a vending area to eat and drink, bathrooms all decorated with a Texan theme.
Finally we arrived in Dallas, we crossed it until we reached Irving and after checking in at the hotel we spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and the hotel pool.
Twelfth Day--- Dealey Plaza in Dallas and Fort Worth
-We arrived at our last day of vacation with a lot of desire to visit Dallas, where one of the places that I personally wanted to know the most is located, this place is Dealey Plaza, where on November 22, 1963 the assassination of John Fitzgerald took place. Kennedy, this has always been a subject that has aroused much interest in me, especially because of the conspiracy behind the assassination, although today, thanks to the thousands of declassified documents, conspiracy theories have become conspiracy facts, not I'm going to get more involved with this topic and we'll see what we did the last day.
After breakfast we went directly to Dealey Plaza, since we had tickets to visit The Sixth Floor Museum, a museum related to the assassination of JFK but in which we also found information about his early years, his family and the events that helped bring about his death. was finally shot on Elm Street that fateful morning.
A panoramic view of Dealey Plaza, a little distorted, but we can see on the right the book store from where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot President Kenedy, just in front there are several X's painted on the ground marking each of the places where the president received each of the shots.
View of Dealey Plaza from the bridge where a bystander was grazed by one of the bullets that missed the target.
Until 11:00 a.m., which was the time at which we could access the museum, we toured the entire Dealey square, I dedicated myself to telling Hermes all the details of what happened that fateful day and we toured all the emblematic and lesser-known places. , such as the now refurbished railroad guardhouse where the late Lee Bowers saw something had happened behind the fence from where JFK was shot head-on that blew his head off.
From this location JFK received the frontal shot that ended his life, where Lee Bowers admitted to the warren commission having seen a flash, but in 1963 it was not taken into consideration, right in front you can see the X painted on the road, marking the place.
Undoubtedly an incredible museum for anyone who is interested in the assassination of JFK, with a multitude of information, real elements belonging to those involved, you can even see the Carcano Rifle with which Oswald supposedly shot JFK, for me it was a A great way to spend about 3 hours that we dedicate to seeing the entire museum and a dream come true by being able to visit both the square and the book store.
Not far from Dealey Plaza is the monument to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first impression it made on me was bewilderment, although after reading the accompanying plaque I understood its meaning a little better.
After seeing the entire museum on the sixth floor, we toured the center of Dallas, amazed at the buildings, although this is normal, since in Spain we are not used to such buildings, nor in large capitals like Madrid or Barcelona where the number of skyscrapers is lower, some older buildings had nice facades.
-As soon as we finished walking the streets, Hermes was already hungry so we decided to go eat, but this time we wanted to try something typical of Texas, that wasn't hamburgers, so we decided to go to Fort Worth, a city of cowboys, which It is located about 50km from Dallas, there was a restaurant with a good reputation, and since we wanted to try the barbecue ribs, we preferred to do it in conditions.
In about 40 minutes we were in Fort Worth, a city that prides itself on its Old West past, the locals say that it is the place where the west begins, although to go to "Riscky's Steackh" the restaurant where we wanted to eat, we had to cross the city to reach the area that still preserves the aesthetics of the old west.
The first thing we did was go in search of the restaurant, since it was 03:30 p.m. and we were all very hungry, we enjoyed the food very much, without a doubt it was worth the trip, everything was very good, we ordered two salads with Ranch sauce , ribs and barbecued prawns for us, for Hermes a children's menu with barbecue ribs and French fries, the barbecue sauce has nothing to do with what you can try here, the proof was that we did not have any sauce or food left over none of us were completely full and the price including tip, to the friendly waitress who served us did not reach 70 dollars.
As soon as we finished eating we walked a bit through the streets of this cowboy town, although with almost 43 degrees in the sun we didn't feel like being out on the street much, we went into some of the shops looking for a Texan hat, but we didn't find any that we liked This town gave off an aroma of the old west, if you ever drop by Dallas you should spend some time visiting Fort Worth.
When we were leaving, a band began to play, and by the way the Americana played very well, this is the typical music of the state.
On the way to the car I captured some images, although what struck Beatriz and me the most was the typical cinema that we have always seen in American movies with the box office in the center and access corridors on both sides.
When we arrived at the hotel on what was our last afternoon, we found an unexpected neighbor, a beaver eating a few acorns, but how nice it was, none of us had ever seen a beaver, so we were very excited.
-Here there is little to tell, we got up, had a full breakfast and headed to the car rental center to return the Hunday Sonata that had taken us to the magnificent places where we were, and after 4 hours at the airport we rode on the American Airlines plane that brought us back to Spain.
Without a doubt it has been a wonderful experience, also with older Hermes, for which we hope you always have the memory of these vacations.