Denver was a delightful stopover on our journey. We decided to take one of the world’s many free walking tours. Ours was led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide, Blaine. We walked about two miles for just over two hours, and all of our photos except the last were taken on the tour.
Our last stop on the tour was Union Station. Denver Pacific Railroad was opened in 1870, after Union Pacific decided not to include Denver on its route. The city realized that would have doomed their economic prospects, so they built their own railroad and put this beautiful building downtown. The inside is white and gleaming and just lovely. Businesses are dotted around the circumference.
We saw the State Capitol, City Hall, and the giant red chair outside the library. Can you tell from the photo that the red chair is 21 feet high, and the “tiny” horse standing on it is 6 feet high? The Denver Art Museum, shown in the photo after the chair, leads people to think it is a prison, with its slender slit windows. But it was constructed with the goal of protecting the books and other resources that it houses by letting in a minimal amount of light. Everyone delighted in the blue bear peering into the convention center, and seeing him has become a favorite tourist destination in Denver.
We didn’t have any of the smoke from California wildfires that the city experienced in the prior weeks. In fact, it was warm and sunny, a perfect Rocky Mountain high. The streets were clean, the people friendly, the food amazing. Just minutes from our hotel is the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, which runs for quite a way, and is jammed with retail stores, restaurants, and coffee shops. Free buses travel along the sides of the mall to help people get from one end to the other. It is quite convenient. A great city! As always, we wish we had had more time there!