April 16th - Chicago, Illinois

Our second full day in Chicago was like he first; glorious blue skies and sunshine. We took the number 6 bus to the Science Museum which has some wonderful exhibits, including a German U-boat, the only one in existence outside Europe.

U505 was captured by the Americans in the Atlantic in 1944. The German captain tried to scuttle the submarine but failed and the Americans then towed it back to Bermuda. The submarine has been at the museum since 1954 but has only recently been moved inside where it is the centrepiece of a major exhibit on German U boats. We took the twenty minute tour through the submarine and were amazed to discover how small it was inside and how 58 sailors were able to live in such cramped quarters, for months at a time.

Other exhibits were on trains and planes, with a Boeing 727 suspended from the ceiling! We left the museum around 1pm and took a short walk to the University of Chicago campus where one of Frank Lloyd Wright's famous 'prairie' houses is located. The Robie house is an excellent example of this style of Lloyd Wright's architecture.

Sadly, we were not able to take a tour of the house as the next tour was in several hours and we did not have the time.

Our next port of call was to another piece of Lloyd Wright architecture, the Rookery, in downtown Chicago. He was commissioned to re-design the interior of this 12 storey building. Directly opposite from the Rookery is the Chicago Federal Reserve Building. There is a visitor centre which, amongst other things, has a million dollar pile of twenty dollar bills!

Next to this is a glass cube containing one million one dollar bills.

The Reserve is responsible for destroying old notes and as we left the building we picked up two small bags of shredded dollar bills given away as a souvenir to all visitors.

Once again my movie camera has gone wrong. The last time was in Central America when I dropped it onto a stone floor. This time, for reasons unknown, the display has failed. As a result I decided it was time to buy a new camera and so from now on the photos posted to the site will be from my new Sony HDD video.

This evening we are dining at one of Chicago's top restaurants, La Spiaggia. This will be a fine way to end our visit here. What a great city Chicago is, and to think we have only 'just scratched the surface' of all the things you can see and do here. Once again I find myself saying 'we WILL be back'.

Tomorrow we drive over 400 miles due east to Pennsylvania and the southern shore of Lake Erie.

No comments: