Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Our bus tour continued from Niagara to Detroit. Unfortunately, Detroit is a run down city with many empty houses in a state of disrepair. We stayed out of town in a very nice hotel and we were advised not to go out at night.

The next morning we visited the Henry Ford Museum. It is a huge building covering 12 acres and it "is filled with history that tells the stories of men and women whose vision and courage changed the world."

There were exhibits of automobiles, trains, aeroplanes, furniture, agriculture and American History. It was an excellent museum. After a few hours there we were on the bus for Chicago.

It is the most beautiful city to enter. There are many parks and a museum campus situated in parklands. We had a photo stop before we entered the city. I didn't realise that Chicago spreads out along the shore of Lake Michigan for 30 miles.

Once in the city it is clean, green and alive with people. Michigan Avenue is similar to 5th Avenue in NYC. 

The river winds through the city. We went on a river and lake cruise on this boat.

The river is crossed by many bascule bridges ( opening bridges using a counterweight system). Chicago is famous for its bascule bridges, the design was copied in other parts of the world but Chicago boasts of having more than any other city in the world. There are about 40 of them.

This is a double decker one, trains on top and cars beneath.

Our local guide told us all about each building that we passed but I can't remember much. (Information overload) However, I was impressed with the tower on the left with an irregular blue pattern down the side. The architect was a woman and she won the prize for the best designed building in the year that it was built. It is hard to see in the photo but it had an irregular textured type of pattern on all sides.

Our boat took us through a lock into Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful colour and hard to believe that it can sometimes freeze in winter.


  1. The Henry Ford Museum looked so interesting but being told not to go out at night would have gotten my attention. Chicago is a place I have always wanted to see. Your photos of the city were beautiful and I found the story of the one building with the irregular pattern very interesting. Another great tour, thanks Diane.

  2. I have never been to Chicago. These photos are beautiful. I cannot believe that huge lake freezes in the winter also....

  3. Kim, I don't think the whole lake freezes but along the shore line does.

  4. That museum looks so interesting. Gorgeous cars!
    Beautiful pictures Diane.

  5. Oh wow, Diane, I never knew Chicago was so beautiful. I loved the bridges and the building with the irregular pattern is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Jo

  6. I learned a lot about Chicago that I did not know - thanks for the information! 30 miles along the, no idea it was that big! Or so pleasant to visit either.

  7. Hi There, I love Chicago --but have only been there a couple of times when I was working on my Master's Degree near there. We went to a Chicago Cubs game when I was there...

    George grew up south of Chicago in Indiana --so he knows Chicago well...

    Wondered why you were going to Detroit --but glad you got to see the museum... I hear it is fabulous.


  8. I'm so glad you visited Chicago (so many tourists skip it) and so glad you loved her.
    I was happy to spend my first 22 years there, near the lake.

  9. The cars are fascinating and we love Chicago. We hope to go back to Chicago once but it will probably take a few years.


  10. It's funny how you can build up a mental image of a place that is so different from the reality. I love the shot from the lake! I'm going to guess that the architect of the organic building is Zahar Hadid?

  11. Carol-Ann, I thought you would be interested in that fact, like I was. I thought of you when we were there. I can't remember the architect's name.

  12. Wow! I would have loved to visit that Henry Ford museum and see those wonderful vintage cars!

  13. Well, I flew over Detroit once. 35,000 feet is about as close as I've ever want to be from it. It just never sounds interesting enough to visit. I'm sure I must be wrong.

  14. Chicago is a fun city! The traffic downtown is crazy though. We used to go every summer for my daughter's dance competitions. They turn that river green on St Patrick's day.
    The only time I was in Detroit, it was just to drive through so I could cross the border into Ontario to see my parents.

  15. Chicago! Lucky you to see Lake Michigan so BLUE! It was always a murky brown the times I saw it.
    You are correct about a total freeze during the winter months, Diane.
    Also Chicago seems to have had a major clean-up which is great to see. If I recall correctly, Chicago has a very good city transportation system, far better than NYC.
    Pity about the mess in Detroit, hopefully soon the city will come back to some of its former glorious days????
    Great travelogue again Diane.
    Colin (HB)

  16. You were in my old stomping grounds. I grew up in the Cicago area and always thought that Chicago is a neat city. I always enjoyed my trips downtown. Years later I lived fairly close to Detroit, but I only visited the Henry Ford Museum.

  17. I am back since yesterday evening and as soon as I have sorted out my things I have to go through your trip ! From Detroit I only remember that it was an awful dirty city and looked so grey. It probably had changed, we only stayed there for the night.

  18. Your pictures are so beautiful ! Chicago for me was the most beautiful big city in the whole States. The architecture of the old skyscrapers and the whole city was just gorgeous. I loved the habour and the view from there. Mr. G. insisted for making an "Al Capone" tour, lol !

  19. Outstanding photographs again, Diane! So much to see and take in. This is a trip I'm sure you'll want to do over and over by revisiting your pictures...I know I'm going to come back again and again, if time permits :)

  20. Sallie (FullTime-Life)August 7, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Beautiful pictures. Detroit is a sad story. Years ago, we went to a conference in Dearborn (I think that's the suburb where the Ford Museum is). We were told not to go out at night; spent a week basically in the Hotel except for one or two tours -- awful, I got cabin fever. But can you imagine what it would be like to live there?

    I felt the same as you learning about the Great Lakes. Massive bodies of water and how could it get cold enough for them to freeze? It would be like the ocean freezing! (I do understand the science, but they seemed that big to me!)

    I'm enjoying the catch up of your tour -- and happy belated b-day!