Sunday 1 June 2008
I have just returned from a trip to American and Canadian Prairie towns.
It has been my experience with all places North American that aren't New York that you have to embrace the strange and peculiar to start to enjoy yourself. For all that the language is the same this world is far more alien than any European places I have visited. So I rode the roller coasters, shopped the shops, ate the pizza slices and got at least waist deep in it all.
Here are my best bits of Minneapolis and Winnipeg:
1) Orange Julius a frozen orange and cream type drink. I was dubious but this stuff is like nectar. I was totally addicted. If one ever opens in the UK I will be making a pilgrimage.
2) Seeing real Amish people
3) The sunset driving through the Prairies. The amount of land and the red skies were awe- inspiring. They have so much land in this part of the world that all that we drove through seemed to be surplus to requirements. It wasn't farmed with crops nor grazed with animals. It was just open for miles and miles. I felt an enormous sense of respect for the people who settled here, the land is open and it's very, very cold. To come here and make a life can't have been easy- but the beautiful sunsets must have helped.
4) Driving through Fargo! It's a real place and it was one of only 2 turns we took on our 9 hour trip.
5) The Mall of America. This might sound like the end of civilisation and a palace to celebrate consumerism, which I'm sure is partly the case. However it also offered this British girl many lovely shops with goods priced in dollars, meaning her earnings could stretch that bit further. It also had roller coasters, a cinema and all kinds of ice- cream. So what's not to like really?
sunset image courtesy of http://www.terradesign.ns.ca/perspix/prairie%20sunset.jpg