In Saint Louis and Saint Charles
St Louis is the second most dangerous city in the US. Like Detroit (the number 1) it was a big industrial city that suffered decline and turned into a place of poverty and crime. It shows when we arrive… As advised we don’t drive the 66 in East St Louis but head straight to downtown after we’ve seen the Chain of Rocks bridge (see in road 66 article). It’s full of abandoned factories and warehouses. The tourist attraction here is the Getaway Arch, 192m steel arch built in 1965. It symbolizes the nation’s expansion to the West after the expedition of Lewis and Clark which started in St Louis in 1804. The Arch design is amazing, and we can go inside to see the view from the top. There’s two “trams”, one on each side, each with 8 capsules going to the top in 4 minutes. Each capsule is 1.5m wide and can fit 5 not-too-fat persons. It’s not a ride for clostrophobic, neither it is for people scared of heights. While in the capsule we can see the beams and cables inside the arch, and there’s no emergency exit. It’s pretty amazing to see and do.
West of Saint Louis the city of Saint Charles offers a cobblestone Main Street with beautiful 19th century buildings. It’s a relaxing and charming stop for tourists after going through Saint Louis.