Route 66, everyone has at least heard of it, part of our culture by now. It was one of the main roads on the American highway network which has become a kind of cult.
It didn’t last long. Route 66 was decommissioned and replaced by 5 other roads in 1985. At least 20% of the road is no longer there, so it is no longer possible to go all the way.
Built in 1926, just in time to be used by the poor fleeing the misery of the ‘Dust Bowl’ states at the time of the Great Depression. It was in fact called “The Mother Road” in John Steinbeck’s book “Furore” and the name stuck. About 210,000 people traveled there to get to California.
The road was originally 3940 km long. Of course, the towns and cities along the way saw an increase in opportunity and prosperity.
The father of Route 66
A certain Cyrus Stevens Avery is considered the father of this road. It should be known that back then, in the 1920s, not everyone wanted motorways. Aside from the potential cost, many farming communities were scared of roads with fast vehicles, used to driving around in their tractors or wagons.
But Avery managed to convince nearly everyone to look to the future. He also named the road Route 66 because he thought the two 6s were easy to remember and promote. Avery wanted to make a road from Chicago to California, that was his dream but he was also lucky that in those years a highway network was approved and therefore his Route 66 could be part of a highway system that covered or intended to cover everywhere in the country.
The Bunion Derby was a race that ran from Los Angeles to New York and was held in 1928 and spanned all of Route 66. It contributed to the almost legendary popularity of the road. 199 competitors from all over the world participated. A Cherokee Indian named Andy Payne won.
Unlike other long roads built in the United States at the time, Route 66 did not go straight but was diagonal, thus allowing for the connection of mainly agricultural areas in states such as Kansas, Illinois or Missouri.
Thus it became the truck highway, both for transporting agricultural products, but also because it was a road that crossed places in mild climates, unlike other roads and therefore almost never blocked by snow.
Route 66 Buildings
A major note in the look and history of Route 66 are the many motels, gas stations, and diners that sprung up and grew along the way. To get noticed, many of these places had a very colorful and also eccentric look, to make the motorists understand that they were offering. So there were Mexican restaurants with huge sombreros on the roof.
Route 66 did not last long, in fact after the Second World War it was already outdated and in the 1950s it was no longer able to keep up. It was President Eisenhower who approved a new highway network for the United States in 1956, inspired by German autobahns.
However, there is now an economy based on tourism for those who want to rediscover the spirit of this great road. In several places there are initiatives and some motels and other buildings have been restored and relaunched.
Douglas Corrigan, the man who flew to Ireland by mistake or maybe not…
We still don’t know if Douglas Corrigan intended to fly to Ireland or ended up there by mistake. We know that he became famous for a while and was even nicknames “Wrong Way”. But his story is still fascinating. Another of his claims to fame was that he was one of the builders involved in the Spirit of St Louis, Charles Lindbergh’s place. He was born in Texas in 1907 and died in 1995. This story takes back to the romantic days of early aviation.
In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long […]
In the summer of 1938, Douglas Corrigan had landed in Dublin Ireland after a 28-hour flight from New York. Despite the grand achievement in the early days of solo transoceanic aviation, the pilot claims that he wasn’t supposed to travel to Europe. He actually filed to fly to Long Beach, California! H
At the age of 31, Corrigan flew out to New York City from Long Beach. The pilot filed to return back to Southern California on July 17th, 1938, but during that foggy morning, he headed east from the 4,200-foot (1,300 m) runway of Floyd Bennett Field, flew into the mist, and vanished for over 28 hours. Nonetheless, he eventually appeared in Dublin, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.
When explaining the situation to officials, Corrigan said that he left New York en route to California but had then gotten mixed up in the clouds and haze. He also shared that he had an issue with his compass. Overall, the airman expressed that he noticed the error after flying for approximately 26 hours. However, there is good reason to believe that this transatlantic hop wasn’t actually a mistake.
Importantly, Corrigan, a man of Irish descent, in 1935, applied to the federal government for permission to make a direct trip from New York to Ireland, which was turned down. Officials felt that the aircraft was not in the right shape to make this transatlantic hop. He then made several modifications and additions over the next few years but was continuously denied. Despite not being approved for transatlantic flight, the government did certify the plane for cross-country trips.
Moreover, the U.S Centennial of Flight Commission highlights that Corrigan grew frustrated with the bureaucracy by 1937 and flew to New York late at night after authorities had gone home. He would then have filled his tanks and set flight for Ireland. Unfortunately, there were several mechanical issues while heading to the East Coast and he lost his window of safe flying weather. Therefore, he decided to fly back west.
The best UK attractions according to Tripadvisor
There are notable surprises in this list compiled by Tripadvisor users, for example you don’t find the great museums in London but we have museums in other places and two football stadiums. In first and second place we have two fairly predictable London attractions the Tower of London and Tower Bridge which are also close together although they don’t have much in common other than the name and proximity. The Tower dates back to 1100 and the bridge to 1800.
In third place we have Arthur’s Seat, the hill located in Edinburgh. Not only is this a nice walk, but once you get to the top you will have a nice view of the whole city. In fourth place we have Etihad Stadium, the Manchester United stadium. You can visit it when there are no matches, they organize a guided tour.
In fifth place we have Anfield Stadium, a practically sacred place for Liverpool fans. When there are no matches, the stadium is open for guided tours. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ranks sixth, it is Scotland’s most visited free attraction. It has 22 themed galleries displaying over 8000 objects of international importance. Birmingham Back to Back is in seventh place, back to back houses were heavily used during the industrial revolution. Not really hygienic or comfortable and they don’t make us envy those times. The museum is a very informative blast from the past. Crumlin Road Gaol is in eighth place. An old Belfast prison closed in 1996 and reopened as a museum. There are guided tours of the prison and you can discover the story when women and children were held within its walls and of the political segregation of republican and unionist prisoners. In ninth place we have the magnificent National Railway Museum in York. Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivaled collection of engineering works, the museum celebrates the railroad’s past, present and future. What’s more, free. In tenth place we have the Churchill War Rooms which are located in London. Surprised? What did you expect to see in the top ten tourist attractions in the UK?
The strange Egyptian house in Penzance in Cornwall
In all parts of the world there are always weird things to see and Cornwall is certainly no exception. If you go to Penzance, try to pass by the strange Egyptian house. It was built on Chapel Street by Plymouth architect John Foulston around 1835. At this time everything Egyptian was in fashion. In London at Piccadilly they had built the Egyptian Hall at the same time and the province tried to adapt to trends.
It was a Plymouth bookseller who wanted this house, his name was John Lavin and he had a passion for maps and travel guides but he also traded minerals. He had then bought two properties here, which were in fact two cottages but he wanted to stand out so he had the two buildings join together with a single facade.
In addition to transforming the architecture of the two buildings, he also built a small mineral museum inside. The house still exists now and houses three apartments, it is a listed building. The interesting thing is that it is a precursor of the Art Deco that conquered the world a century later.
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