Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Travel Texas to the Midwest and the Home of the Cowboys

My travel plan to Texas was quite impromptu. I planned a year abroad in the USA and waited longingly for the invitation of my host family. I had dreamed of California, New England, Florida, or the like, as naive as I was. Fate, however, wanted it different and sent me to Texas first. Texas, nicknamed the Lone Star State, combines modernity and history.

Texas offers the classic Wild West culture and bustling metropolitan cities, captivating with cowboy spirits and country sounds. Texas illuminates with vast natural spectacles and culinary delights. Our travel plan was to experience all of these features, which are typical of Texas, through magnificent walks, pleasant sightseeing and exciting explorations.

The Texas Cliché: Brown sand, flurrying air, cacti, horses, a lone cowboy

It was not the typical cliché imagination that every one of us has when we think of Texas. It was similar to me at the beginning. But let it be told. It's worth taking up Texas as a top destination worth visiting! Texas offers a great variety of climatic conditions, landscapes, and sights, not least because of its size.

While in the north of Texas you can get the biggest snow storms in winter, the weather remains tropical in the south. Even in winter, the weather remains pleasantly warm.

Houston is big but not great!

Next, to Austin, Houston is the great city in Texas. However, I personally have to say that there are significantly more places worth seeing. Houston has no personality in my opinion. Many new, modern buildings are there but there is no real city center. There is the Galleria mall, which offers everything your heart desires including a skating rink on the ground floor.

In the east of Texas, there are beautiful small towns like San Antonio, Corpus Christi & Brownsville

I find the slightly smaller cities near the east coast of Texas much nicer. There is San Antonio, one of the most European cities in the USA. San Antonio is famous for its fantastic riverwalk in the city center. Here the San Antonio River winds its way through the town for a few kilometers.

There are countless restaurants, shops, and bars along the river. At night, small string lights glow everywhere and create a very romantic atmosphere. In the area around San Antonio, you can encounter many European sounding street and city names, which is why many emigrants have settled there.

Corpus Christi, the glittering city by the sea

A little further south on the coast lies Corpus Christi. There are beautiful beach sections and fantastic villas facing the sea. I believe that Corpus Christi is also the most beautiful universities in the world that also face the sea. Corpus Christi, however, is primarily known for its port. The name also comes from the fact that the city was discovered on the day of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

The famous King Ranch also begins in Corpus Christi. It has existed since the middle of the 19th century and stretches over 3340 m² to the south of Texas to Brownsville and is one of the largest ranches in the world. I spent a few days in Harlingen near Brownsville.

Brownsville: Where Texas borders on Mexico.

From Brownsville, you are only about 30 minutes from the Mexican border. Because of the great problem with illegal immigrants, the Texans have erected a three-meter-high fence over many kilometers of the border. For a day trip to Mexico, this area is a great place to stay. However, I would advise you not to visit any of the border towns. Drive further into the Landesinnere, because the crime in the border cities is enormously high.

By far the most beautiful place in Texas is called South Padre Island

Padre Island stretches over 210 km from Corpus Christi to Port Isabel, which is located at the height of Brownsville. The island consists of sand dunes and has a very wide beach in most parts. South Padre Island is next to Florida's Springbreak location in the US. So there are also many good beach clubs and bars.

In addition to a huge water park, there are dolphins, turtles and all kinds of fish. On South Padre Island, you can feel as if you are in the Caribbean islands. You can enjoy the sunset here. The best memories of your holiday are, of course, on Facebook and Instagram with your friends, but in an album, they look much nicer than on the screen.

Futuristic and historic - Dallas downtown

Dallas or Big D, as the locals call their city is a modern city with an impressive skyline, great architecture and versatile cultural life. The roots date back to 1841 when a small trading post was established. Dallas was raised as a city in 1871 and developed rapidly thanks to the railway to the trading center. With oil discoveries in the 1930s, Dallas became the financial center of the new oil barons of Texas. In 1963, it reached headlines as President John F. Kennedy was assassinated here.

The modern center is widely visible through its modern skyline. It is marked with the futuristic Reunion Tower as a landmark. This 171 m high tower stands on three pillars and a cylindrical concrete shaft. It ends in a kind of ball or geodetic dome in network structure, which consists of three floors. At night, the ball is lit impressively with LED lights in different colors. After a recent renovation, it now offers not only the perfect overview of the GeO Deck but also fine dining at the revolving restaurant Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck.

At the foot of the tower is the Dallas Trail Drive at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Before that, you should visit the sculpture group Trail Drive in Pioneer Park. This impressive, real-looking arrangement of 40 survival-sized Longhorns, driven by three cowboys through a creek, is reminiscent of the ancient times. The work was created between 1992 and 1997 by the Texas sculptor Robert Summers.

Nightlife in the shadow of the skyscrapers - West End Historic District

The West End Historic District in the shadow of the skyscrapers is not only the cradle of the city around the old trading center but above all, beats her heart here. In the area between Lamar and Market Street, shops such as Wild Bill's and restaurants are located in the historical buildings and the night life is lively in bars and pubs. From the historic West End, a modern pedestrian bridge crosses the Trinity River.

Dallas Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (2012) runs as a pedestrian bridge next to the Continental Avenue Bridge and ends at Trinity Groves, a hip warehouse where "Luck" or "Souk" offer varied food with a view.

The green lung of Dallas - KlydeWarren Park

The northern part of the inner city is devoted entirely to art and is called "Arts Districts". Texas Dallas Klyde Warren ParkDallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, or Dallas Center for the Performing Arts; But the newest addition is the KlydeWarren Park. The latter is an idyllic green park above a busy freeway, between Arts District and Uptown. This green belt in the middle of the city center is used for many purposes: as a stage for concerts, for open air cinema and other events, there are playgrounds and sports facilities, an outdoor library, benches, promenades, food trucks, Can eat fine in Savor Gastropub.

Dallas' multi-faceted museum landscape

Dallas Perot Museum of Natural ScienceA stone's throw from West End is located on the north-western downtown edge of Victory Park and there is the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science. A donation from the family of former presidential candidate and builder Ross Perot, who played a major role in the development of the district, made this multimedia science museum with many Handson objects on five floors possible. Just the architecture of Thom Mayne (Morphosis Architects), a green construction, also called Powerhouse, and the surrounding park is worth seeing.

Texas Perot Museum of Natural Science

Also relatively new is the Bush Presidential Library & Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU). There are documents, photos and various relics of the 43rd President George W. Bush Texas Bush Presidential Library Museum to see. The exhibitions throw a different light on the ex-president and his office time and the department to 9/11 is as interesting as those of origin and family.

On our foray through the second-largest state of the USA, we discovered steep gorges, endless plains, deep caves and wild Western scenery. We enjoyed the camp fire romance and the scent of freedom, listening to the live music and savoring spicy delights that were quite typical of Texas! All in all, I can only advise you to go for a holiday in Texas and enjoy the special charm of this state!