Goodbye California and hello Utah! 16 hours on a bus, mostly crossing Nevada, brought us to a city which I consider to be in the middle of nowhere. Utah is mostly desert where hardly any crops grow, but back in the 19th Century, the Mormons decided to build the main temple for their religion and construct a city a round it. To get to Salt Lake City, our bus had to cross massive salt plains. For miles on end, all I could see was white outside my window. The salt plains in Utah are considered so big and plain, that it is believed that you can see the curvature of the Earth in the distance.
The city itself is very organised. All of the streets are numbered by the hundreds and run either North to South or East to West, basically like a big checker board. The temple is considered the centre and then the numbers grow as you get further away.
The Mormon temple is one the biggest attractions that the city has to offer. It’s a pretty majestic building from the outside but the inside is pretty bare. The grounds outside are quite pretty and there are a few churches that surround the temple. When we were actually there, we walked through two different weddings by accident.
Downtown Salt Lake City is very modern. The city underwent major renovations for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and you can tell when you walk around. They installed a train system (which runs through the middle of roads and stops at traffic lights) all through the city. Our hostel was half a block from a station and only 3 stops from the downtown area.
On one of our days, we took a half day tour to the Great Salt Lake -a 70 mile lake that can be seen from a world map and is so salty that you float. The only thing that lives in the extremely salty water is a type of algae that leaves a stinking smell by the shore. The only thing that eats this algae is a small fly. Basically the whole shore line is covered in flies. The ground looks black and when you approach the water, they all fly away. It was gross but it was cool to be in water and float without any effort. It definitely made me feel good about my weak swimming skills!
On one of the nights we went to a baseball game in a nearby stadium where the Salt Lake Bees and the Iowa Cubs were playing. Unlike the Dodger’s game I went to in LA, this one was way more relaxed and homey. Our tickets only cost $10 and we just sat on the grass by field and ate sunflower seeds. At the end of the game, the stadium put on a massive fireworks show for the crowd in celebration of the family day. As we were sitting close to where the we’re going to release the fireworks, we got the chance to go on the field which was as pretty cool.
Other than that, we didn’t really do much in Salt Lake City. We discovered a nearby Walmart which made us incredibly happy and we relaxed at our hostel. It was good to slow down for a couple of days. You don’t realise how intense travelling is until you take a break from it.
It was interesting visiting Salt Lake City. It was a very organised town with a strong religious influence. Not many people think to go there so I’m glad I got to experience it all.