Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to blogging - Trip to Chicago

I mainly blog when I travel and it has been a while since I travelled. Therefore, it was been a while since I have last blogged. Quad Erat Demonstrandum :-)

I intend to make a few posts in detail about the sights in Chicago, but for now all the photos from the trip have been linked below.

I arrived in the US in February and since then all I had been to was the hotel, the office, the bank and the grocery stores. Not exactly interesting things to blog about! Finally, this weekend I took a trip to Chicago. Monday (28th May) being a holiday (Memorial Day) here, the chance was there to enjoy a long weekend - and I took it.

Eagan (the place where I live in the US) being such a small, sleepy, deserted place had starved me of the city air that I have grown up breathing. It felt really great to be in a big, noisy city that was throbbing with life, people and activity.

I reached there on Friday night, after a 1 hr 15 mins flight got delayed by another 1 hr and 15 mins! A co-passenger told me that NorthWest Airlines actually has the worst service record for any corporation in the US, not just the airlines industry - and that I could see.

There was no sightseeing on Friday. But we made best use of Saturday, even though the weather was lousy with rain and clouds. From morning to late and night we were walking around the city, with a break in between for a hearty Italian lunch. In the end I think we walked about 20 miles in all.

The most obvious Indian connection to Chicago is the Art Institute of Chicago where Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous speech at the Parliament of Religions in 1893. From there we went to the Millenium Park, where you get to see the wonderful Cloud Gate sculpture.

Sunday brought beautiful weather and I grabbed that opportunity to go to the top of Sears Tower. Sears Tower was the tallest building with the world when it was built but lost that position first to Petronas Tower, Malaysia and then Taipei 101, Taipei. The SkyDeck on the 103rd floor offers excellent views of the city and beyond. In the evening we enjoyed the fireworks on display at Navy Pier, on the ocaasion of Memorial Day.

I stayed in Chicago at Souvick's place (Souvick is the childhood friend of my colleague Prabudhha ). The three of us had an excellent three days together - it was great company. Would like to thank Souvick for his hospitality and making this trip a very enjoyable one!