Visiting the Gateway Arch and having the last NHL ice hockey match of the trip: the eighth day of my Pittsburgh Penguins March 2022 tour had quite some places, which I was really looking forward to this day. No flights, no major driving – so the day was almost relaxing.
Good Morning Fairview Heights
The day started at 5:00 hrs in the morning, providing you the Day 7 posting and getting ready for an early breakfast. My backlog of postings I have prepared before the trip was just about to be sufficient to serve you during the ten day travel. The breakfast hat the Hampton Inn St. Louis / Fairview Heights was actually quite nice. Overall, a really pleasing stay.
The Gateway Arch
I started the day with the bucket list item. More or less right when I entered the Interstate into St. Louis, I could see the Gateway Arch. Finally, this construction feels to be reflected anywhere in the city. I had a ticket for 9:10 hrs, so that I arrived at the parking before 9:00 and thus qualified for an Early Bird parking ticket, which meant I could parking until afternoon for 7 USD. The tram system to get to the top is indeed fascinating, a mixture of ferris wheel and elevator. From above, you had a nice view over St. Louis and Illinois.
I did not like the Museum of the Westward Expansion, which is part of the Gateway Arch National Park, too much, though. Finally. the Westward Expansion is an act of genocide on the Native Americans to me. This is featured, but still in a way (especially in the part designed for kids), which overall leads to a “glorifying” impression of this idea. Statements in the exhibition like “Over 500 treaties were made between the United States government and American Indians. All of them were broken” should play a much stronger role in my point of view.
Busch Stadium – the Local Ball Park
From the Arch, I had booked a stadium tour through Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals. I felt that the tour was not as good as others I attended. The group size was too big, the balancing of time at different spots of the tour was not good as well. Still an impressive building. Baseball is truly the #1 sports in the city.
The ticket included access to the Cardinals’ Museum and Hall of Fame. One of the tour guides called it “One of the best baseball museums in the country”. I have been to some much better ones already. Sorry, Cardinals, you could do this one much better…
Some hidden gems – and the Blues
I have to say that I just cannot say that I loved the city center of St. Louis. Maybe also due to Covid-19 impacts, the city felt quite empty and not too attractive, despite attractions like the national park and the stadium. One real gem is the Citypark, which is also named “Sculpture Park” or similar. Really interesting pieces of art right in the heart of the city.
I headed on Eastbound, where my overall impression here and there altered with beautiful buildings like the former post office or a beautiful theater, which feels to turn into a ruin, though. I finally ended up at the National Blues Museum. I wonder where how these “National” places are assigned. I have been to better blues museums during my time in and around Memphis – but this one was also not bad and quite interactive – I could play the washboard, for example.
Unfortunately, the Economic Museum by the Federal Reserve was closed. Another issue I had was the limited amount of places to eat something. A convention taking place in the city also meant that many options were absolutely packed. I finally ended up in a really nice deli, before I headed back to the car.
Check-Mate – the most Westbound Spot on my Trip
I headed to more Western parts of St. Louis. Actually, what a contrast to the city center. It was so beautiful out there The area also features a large park, which is hosting attractions like the St. Louis Arts Museum and the free to visit St. Louis Zoo. I however, went to the place which is hidden behind the world largest chess figure. St. Louis is also hosting the (free admission) Chess Hall of Fame, which was a really nice part of my trip and the last attraction I visited in the city (apart from the arena, of course).
The OYO – Not that bad…
I wanted to have a stay which is convenient to Enterprise Center – and the OYO St. Louis Downtown City Center is actually a the best option for that – just a few steps to walk, you can even see the arena from the parking lot. The reviews are rather poor, but I actually had a really nice time and a – comparably – budget stay, in regards with other alternatives. They even have a lovely pool – which I could not test, it was time for hockey now.
The first impression of Enterprise Center was rather limited. The outer ring with restaurants and services is really poor, the inside of the arena is much better. And: they have bratwurst, a German stadium food classic. The bratwurst was reasonable. I had pretty good tickets, more or less right in the middle of the ice in the lower ranks. Some really nice people around me – some maybe a bit too drunk…
The match has been dramatic. St. Louis had a 5-3 power play right after some 30 seconds, but could not convert. The second period was a Penguins attack on the St. Louis goal, but just lead 2-1 as David Perron punished the bad conversion with a beautiful fast break. With an early tie in the score, the match got really dramatic. Both teams had hits on the goal cage and massive opportunities, the two netminders Tristan Jarry and Ville Husso were amazing. Same applied for the overtime, which was just great to watch. The goalies kept on their great performances in the shoot-out with initial seven consecutive saves/misses.
Brian Rust finally gave me a great finish of the sports part of my Pittsburgh March 2022 Trip with his converted attempt. 3-1 victories in four games, I really loved that trip in this regards. Great matches by the team – and regarding the dramatics, this one was definitely the highlight.
Pittsburgh Penguins March 2022 – Day By Day
Here is the overview of my Trip Report:
- Pittsburgh Penguins March 2022 – Overview Posting
- Day 1, 10.3.2022 – About Mobile Networks and Sparky The Dragon
- Day 2, 11.3.2022 – Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has just left the Building
- Day 3, 12.3.2022 – White Pittsburgh and Ketchup
- Day 4, 13.3.2022 – No Flight, but the second Victory
- Day 5, 14.3.2022 – Back To Music City
- Day 6, 15.3.2022 – No Victory on the Road, but still a Good Day
- Day 7, 16.3.2022 – 300 Miles and a really Cool Flight
- Day 8, 17.3.2022 – In Rust We Trust – a 3-1 victorious trip
- Day 9, 18.3.2022 – The Home of Superman and The Heart of Country Music
- Day 10/11, 19./20.3.2022 – The Final F(l)ights
Trip Reports (USA)
Here are all my Trip Report Postings related to the USA:
Flyctory.com about Ice Hockey
Here are all ice hockey postings on Flyctory.com: