On the road again...
Today, we tried Megabus for the first time, from Austin to Houston. Here we are, on the bus...
We loved it. This is the Megabus "terminal" in Austin which is in a car parking lot that Megabus leases.
Megabus' queuing and waiting system is shown below. Di of course is at the front of the queue. The guys that work for Megabus sit on folding chairs and there only option for shelter, for them, is to erect a camping like awning. Today the weather was nice but a little windy so no shelter.
Julia Ideson Library is a lovely building with murals on many of the walls, even this stairway.
There is also a second, newer and modern library called Houston Central Library, but that didn't look very interesting at all, being a modern concrete lump.
After our library visit, we went searching for a Wells Fargo ATM and found their downtown centre on the next corner, with their ATMs and branch underground. Why? We had stumbled onto downtown Houston's 6.5 miles of interlinking pedestrian tunnel system. More people walk past the Wells Fargo branch underground than above. No wonder the streets don't have many pedestrians. Houstonians come to work, park their car and never step onto the streets. The tunnels link buildings and parking underground, even shops, we figure to avoid the summer heat. They even have a map and different colour coded tunnels, see below.
It's fascinating so we just had to find out whether we could walk all the way back to our hotel "inside".
Firstly we did the whole red tunnel loop (just to explore) then we diverted into the yellow Louisiana tunnel. As you can see below there are lots of directional signs and some of the tunnels reminded us of airport or railway pedestrian areas. The difference is that you move between various buildings so the styles of the tunnels change to match the building. For example underneath the Hyatt is nicer than underneath a parking garage. Some areas open up with shops and seating.
Near the end of our route we took a lift and an escalator to get into an above ground pedestrian systems and yes, it ran through level 2 of our hotel and continued. Wow, we had walked more than a mile without roads.
Hans has a bit of a cold so we had a rest for an hour or so before heading south to find a drinks and dinner location. We ended up on Gray street with quite a few restaurants and bars. Nothing had particularly good vibes so we chose a pizza place with a $10 pizza special and Happy Hour beers until 7pm for draft beer. Unfortunately they had run out of about half of their beer stock so Hans started with a Harpoon White before switching to a Live Oak Hefeweizen. Di stuck to Stella Artois (boring but good). The pizza was excellent the Calzone not so much but nice enough for tonight.