April 8th - Fort Worth to Lufkin, Texas, via Dallas

At least the weather is a bit warmer this morning and we were able to have a short walk around the hotel, looking at the various saloons and shops of the Stockyards area. However, as it was Easter Sunday most of the shops were closed and no shopping took place. We then drove into Downtown Fort Worth which is a mixture of new skyscrapers and older brick buildings from the 1920's. We saw the art deco Bass Concert Hall which had two gigantic angel statues with trumpets.

Then a short drive took us to the Fort Worth Water Garden. This lived up to its billing as being one of the sights to see in the town. The gardens have only just re-opened and are a wonderful place to see how water can be used to both entertain and relax you. Three large displays are within the gardens. The first is a marvellous waterfall where you can walk down to the base of the falls with water cascading down from three sides.

The second is a large pool with multiple fountains, called the Aerated Water Pool. The third is a large blue wading pool completely surrounded by a high wall which has water flowing down it. Hopefully the photos give some idea of how special this place is.

Our drive then took us to Dallas, 45 minutes from Fort Worth, and to Dealey Plaza, the place where JFK was assassinated. We went first to the museum in the Texas Book Depository, which overlooks the Plaza, and was the building from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president. The photo below shows the depository and the window from where Oswald shot is on the right, one floor down from the top.

Seeing the exhibits and the video/audio displays vividly brought back the dreadful events of 43 years ago. We then went outside and standing on the 'grassy knoll' and looking at the exact spot in Elm Street where Kennedy was shot, was very moving. This photo is taken from the grassy knoll, and the spot where Kennedy was shot is marked by a cross in the centre of the street.

A short walk took us as to the memorial to JFK that the people of Dallas built in memory of Kennedy. The whole visit was well worthwhile and one we will all remember.

We then headed south-east to Lufkin, our destination for the night and just under halfway to New Orleans. The road was quite empty and we made good progress to arrive at our hotel, after a 200 mile drive, by 5pm. The countryside in this part of Texas is very reminiscent of the English countryside, with green fields and many deciduous trees. This is such a change from the dryness of western Texas.

Tomorrow we move on into Louisiana and New Orleans in the 'deep south' of the US.

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