Posts on the blog have been delayed a few days by the amount of good times and unique experiences we had in the last places.
We left Kelley and Kansas behind, driving North, heading to Omaha. The land is quite plain, a lot of farms and grain-storage facilities, new tractors and big machines with no apparent purpose (gee! I see I’m not a farmer!).
Before reaching Omaha, we stopped to see a few offbeat ‘attractions’ like the black squirrel city (Marysville, KS) where we indeed saw one black squirrel ($25 fine if you hurt one), then the Nebraska State capitol and the Sunken gardens in Lincoln. On the way, driving through fields of corn and soy beans, here pops a lighthouse. Locked, unused, by a private lake, with no option to visit – why did we stop? We had a relaxed evening and dinner watching the kids play baseball in a park in Gretna, probably a suburb of Omaha.
Our host in Omaha, Errol, welcomed us and recommended a few things to visit in Omaha. The next day we followed his suggestions and all went perfect. We had a very good time walking the streets of this city, one of the few parking-friendly cities we’ve been to. We started the day by walking across Bob Kerrey bridge over the Missouri river and being welcomed to Iowa by a small girl. This bridge offers a great view of the city skyline, day or night, and it’s only for pedestrian use – so bring your tripod. This is where we saw a huge amount of water being projected into the air, somewhere close, next to the nearest bridge. We wanted to drive straight there, but we took a detour looking for a post office. As we drove through the center, we were surprised to see several groups of large statues, on a few blocks span.
The next stop for us was the big fountain, we had to find the source of that amazingness. We found it in a park, Heartland of America, and it’s been powered by 800hp engine and lit up in the night by a lot of colorful lights (we liked the orange color as it looks like a fire in the night sky). After a short stroll around the park, we moved to the old Market neighborhood, exploring the cobblestone streets, walking by well-preserved brick buildings which once hosted hard working people, sweating by forges or producing goods – now only pubs, restaurants and some stores.
The hot afternoon was successfully spent in the Durham Museum, a museum about Omaha, its old times and how it became the city it is now. Located in a former train station, the museum is quite surprising. We paid for the ticket with a little reserve, as the first main hall was nothing but huge and with very little exhibits. As soon as we got downstairs, we took a train through the history and spent there about 3h, trying to understand how the city came together. And since there was still light in the day, we decided to wait for the color show by the bridge and see the city lights from Iowa. The light show was not something worth waiting for, but the colored grass made a nice background for a couple of night shots.