Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Day in Balt'more

Bill is the ideal "travel companion".  I've never ceased to be amazed at how he can get us around in cities he's never been before.  He's found routes and time-tables for trains in several foreign countries...  in languages neither of us speak...  and got us where we wanted to go.  He's always got our routes in the USA figured out.

 We had asked about taking a "city" bus into Baltimore, but apparently there are too many transfers to make that feasible.  It was suggested that we take a taxi, but we weren't keen on paying $80 each way.  Today, with the great instructions of the hotel concierge, and Bill's use of Google Maps, we drove to a light-rail station, parked the car,  and took the train into Baltimore...  total cost, round trip - $7.00.
 The train was virtually empty on our way to the city...  we caught some of the "rush hour" traffic on the way home and Bill had to stand for a few stops before there was an empty seat.  When we got on coming home, a very polite young woman actually got up and gave me her seat.  I guess there are some perks to getting old.

Our first stop this morning was the Lexington Market...
 A huge, indoor market place selling all kinds of meats, fish, seafood, fruits, veggies, pastries as well as more kinds of restaurants (take-out type) than I can remember.  Everything from chitlins to sushi to Thai to plain old home cooking.  It was still too early for us to eat so we just looked.

Just a few blocks from the Lexington Market is the Bromo Seltzer Clock Tower....
 A landmark since 1911, it was once the tallest structure in Baltimore.  It was designed to look like the Palazzo Veccchio in Florence, Italy.  At one time there was a blue "Bromo Seltzer" bottle at the top.
If you can look closely, you'll see that instead of "numbers" the words "BromoSeltzer" are the 12 hours.

We were on a walking tour and checked out the various types of architecture and buildings on our way over to the Shot Tower...
 Constructed in 1828, it was built to "manufacture" types of shot.  Molten lead was dropped through a sieve from a platform at the top into a vat of cold water at the bottom.  A couple sizes of shot were made.  At the time of it's construction it was the tallest building in the USA.

We walked from the Shot Tower on down to the Inner Harbor...  
 The old power plant now houses a Barnes & Noble as well as several other trendy shops.  I think it used to have a brewery there, but we saw no signs of it on this trip.

Walking around the Harbor area (which is now an up-scale tourist area) there are any manner of ways to be entertained.  You can take a boat trip in the harbor... or even rent paddle boats.  There are tours of old ships moored there, including a submarine, and...
The USS Constellation - Built in 1854
I can't pass by this without thinking of our friend Tom.  I wanted to visit my daughter but had never driven such a long distance by myself before.  Bill had to take care of the farm critters, so I enlisted Tom, who was a good friend of our son, to go along for the ride.  He was good company, and once we got to Baltimore, my daughter had all kinds of sight-seeing things for us to do...  including a tour of this ship.  Tom was really interested in the Civil War and everything around that time.  
About 10 years ago, Tom passed away after a valiant battle with cancer, while still in his 30's.

 A building that I don't think was here when I was here last...
 The Baltimore World Trade Center
In front of the building is a sculpture made from the NY World Trade Center, from 9-11

We wandered around the Inner Harbor for quite a while.  I had good memories of taking our granddaughters to the Aquarium... especially the Rain Forest floor, as well as watching street performers and just all kinds of things going on.  It was fun to have Bill see some of the things I saw over 20 years ago.

We did stop to have lunch...  I wanted to have crab-cakes...
Truth is, while the food was okay, I'd never go back to this place...
I thought the waitresses were rude and extremely loud and noisy.
As we were leaving, I saw a sign that said something about "We are Sarcastic and Rude Here... Get Over It" or something like that.  You know something?  If I'd seen that as we walked in I'd have turned right around.  Guess I should pay more attention to where I'm going.

After retrieving our car at the train station, we headed back to the hotel.  We did make a stop at the Bass Pro Shop, which is an outdoor outfitters store.  But that's a whole 'nother story.

It was a fun day...  we'll have to see what we can find to do tomorrow.

That's All For Today!


  1. What a grand old sailing ship!! And that sculpture, glad you told what it was. You all know how to take in so much when you travel. I love your blog and always read it. Keep on enjoying your trip.

  2. Never could stand Bromo Seltzer! :P I'd sure like to be touring just about anywhere just now...

  3. That would include Graceland, if I could just get out of here. :O

  4. I love tall ships and envy your getting so close. I find if totally odd that the restaurant thinks being rude is an asset. Ok I guess if you only want one time customers.

  5. I have good memories of being in that harbor, we had friends who lived near Washington, DC and took a lot of day trips--for a country girl from Arkansas, riding the subways was an experience!

  6. A lot of fun things to see and experience. Love that Clock Tower and the old ship.

  7. Gerry and I love to go to the Lexington Market and window shop and enjoy the aromas (most of them) around the market. The downtown area around the inner harbor is fantastic now that it has been redone. I remember going to the area in the late 50s and it was run down and full of bars and strip joints. Not that I went to strip joints.

    Sounds like you guys did a great job of "if the world hands you lemons, make lemonade". Have fun.

  8. Thanks for taking the tour for us, too. I've enjoyed taking public transportation in strange cities and asking strangers the best place to get off. Google maps is a great improvement.

  9. Yeah on finding the light rail system and using it at a much cheaper travel cost. We did something similar on our recent trip to Toronto and took what they call the GO train into the city and then travelled around by subway and street car. It really gives you more of a feel to a city than using costly tour buses. Maybe you don"t see everything, but your time is your own. We have also been to the Inner Harbos area.