Tuesday, November 02, 2010

St Louis to Kansas City…

Woke around 8am and had a workout,  i asked the concierge last night if they had any details about going up the arch and was given a pamphlet saying the times, directions etc We had to check out at noon so packed all the bags so we could go see the arch, head back and then checkout straight away.
We went for the buffet breakfast in the hotel at 9ish, i just wanted a bagel and Kami wanted some hash browns and bacon. By the time we had added it all up it was cheaper to do the buffet breakfast at $15 a head, however i commented to the server that it would be an expensive bagel for me and she said she would only charge us for one buffet and to help ourselves!
After breakfast we walked the mile or so to the arch. It was early Saturday morning and the roads were real quiet not only with people but cars as well. I have to say i was surprised how nice St Louis was, the building were beautiful all around the city, i would have loved to have stayed longer and  had a better look round but it was the KC show tonight so we had to leave around midday and make the 4 hour drive to at least be able to check in the hotel before the show tonight.
Few buildings in St Louis.
DSCF5210 (Large)  DSCF5219 (Large)  DSCF5331 (Large)  DSCF5332 (Large)
DSCF5339 (Large)  DSCF5335 (Large)  DSCF5337 (Large)  DSCF5322 (Large)
I was  real surprised just how big the St Louis arch was,i had no idea till we got to the bottom of it that it was that big!! (yes i know if i had a nickel,lol) Id seen pictures of it online and when we drove into the city yesterday but the sheer size doesn't hit you till your stood at the bottom, it was nigh on impossible to take any pictures and fir the whole arch in the pictures when you were closer than 1.4 mile away!
Stainless steel arch                         The arch                               Kami pretending to be roger During Comfy Numb!
DSCF5232 (Large)  DSCF5226 (Large)  DSCF5228 (Large)
DSCF5221 (Large)  DSCF5227 (Large)  DSCF5238 (Large)  DSCF5218 (Large)
We made our way down to the entrance to go up the arch. The entrance was like going through airport security with x-ray and metal detectors. I was fine is tripped off everything that was metal and went through without a problem. However Kami was special!! She has a few plates and screws in her back due to surgery a few years ago and depending on the sensitivity of the the metal detector depends on whether it goes off when Kami walks through! This one must have been sensitive as the noise sounded and she was asked to go to one side to be searched!
Kamis back X-ray from a few years ago!!
We bought a ticket to go up the arch but out trip times wasn't for another 45 minutes, it said on the ticket that the trip was approximately 45 minutes to an hour long, it was then i realised it was gonna be way after noon when we got back to the hotel so i made a cal back to them to check we were ok with our bags in the room till we got back, it was fine with them. There's a couple of gift shops, an exhibition and a couple of other things all underground where you go to get to the top of the arch. Today they also had a few tables set up and around them were the actual people that built the arch all those years ago! They were selling large posters for a $ each and you were able to walk round the tables and get them to sign them! Had i been able to get a cardboard postal tube i would have gone and got one signed however i didn't like the idea of carrying the poster round me till we found a tube so i didn't bother.
Arch exhibition, pictures from the building of the arch and kami in a replica of one of the sections.
DSCF5241 (Large)  DSCF5256 (Large)  DSCF5259 (Large)
I had no idea at all how they've got visitors to the top, id been thinking about it the day before and didn't know if they had a lift that went half way and you walk the rest of it there was like  just steps that you had to climb! When i finally saw how you get to the top i was amazed! I've never seen anything like it before, not even sure if there is any other lift type thing like it anywhere else in the world!!
We were given a number and told to walk down to the door with that number, it was then that i saw the size of the door! it was no bigger than 4 feet high and probably about 18 inches wide! i had no idea what to expect when the door opened and what i did see was certainly not what i expected!
DSCF5267 (Large)   DSCF5262 (Large)   DSCF5264 (Large)
When the door opened there were 4 people inside that had come back down from the top, the exited to their right and i was then able to see five small white seats inside a white pod type enclosure that must have been no bigger than 5 feet by 5 feet!! i had to duck my head when i went through the door and keep my head ducked down in the pod for the whole four minute trip to the top!
The 5 person pod!            Kami getting in the pod.
DSCF5269 (Large)  DSCF5270 (Large)
The ride to the top of the arch!
It was ingenious how it worked, each pod was on a roller type system and as it went upwards it also rolled backwards to keep the pod level i was loving watching out of the small window as were going up but the couple who were in the pod was us were  a touch worried to say the least!
Once at the top there were a couple of steps to walk up before you actually reached the middle of the arch at the top, obviously the floor was slanted as you walked up to the middle and once there  there was very little head height for someone as tall as me!
At the top of the arch
DSCF5273 (Large)  DSCF5274 (Large)
The lookout windows although very narrow and small were cool as it actually gave you not only a great look outwards but they were angled downwards so you laid down in front of them and looked down toward the bottom.
The windows from the ground below     And from the inside                            St Louis through the lookout window
DSCF5254 (Large)  DSCF5304 (Large)  DSCF5309 (Large)
Looking straight down below!                Arch shadow                                     Bottom of the arch
DSCF5296 (Large) DSCF5289 (Large) DSCF5297 (Large)
The ride back down only took 3 minutes but was just as cool as coming up. we were in pod 8 both coming up and going down but with different people.
Ready to go back down      Kami in the pod!                                     Back on the ground
DSCF5314 (Large)  DSCF5317 (Large)  DSCF5326 (Large)
I loved going up the arch and it was definitely a highlight on my trip so far. Its something i would most certainly recommend anyone does if they are ever in St Louis, i would go up it again in a heartbeat and spend a lot more time up there than we were able to due to time constraints.
Few more pictures from the arch and around St Louis.

Panorama picture from the top of the arch.
st louis panorama small

I just love these pictures i took when we were back on the ground as well.
DSCF5319 (Large)   DSCF5318 (Large)  DSCF5234 (Large)
We headed back to the hotel and checked out around 1pm, we had a four hour drive ahead of us and Kami wanted to stop on the way at a mall to pick a couple of things up from the Lush store. we did this and then headed out towards Kansas City and got there around 5pm without stopping at all on the way.


  1. It looks so monolithic from the ground! I'm actually glad you did this because I've never really been enthusiastic about St. Louis so it's like you did my tourism for me!

    Julie :)

  2. oh WOW.. Loved that... I feel like I'm touring with you, Si!!

  3. I'm a cyborg, but that's okay...

  4. We went three years ago, stayed at a hotel right across from a little entertainment/restaurant district right in that area--had a view of the Arch from our hotel window. My buddy has a touch of claustrophobia and I didn't know if he'd make it to the top or not, he was sweating so much! Glad you had a good time. It's off season, but St. Louis is a great town for baseball!