Flight to Houston Texas and some Houston Sightseeing

Houston, Texas

Days in transit always seem to me to be a waste of time, especially when you are flying. You only get to see two different airports, and here the word different is used sparingly, and not much more. To prevent this happening on this trip, we asked for an early flight from Washington DC to Houston, Texas, our last destination.

Thankfully, our tour operator’s team really did listen. They booked us on a flight leaving Dulles Airport at 8:20 am which meant that we had to leave the hotel at 6 am. I don’t know how it is for you, but my blood pressure is still fast asleep at such an early hour. Luckily, we had said good-bye to our driver the night before, otherwise he might well have been hurt if he had only received a few mumbled words from us...

The group check-in in Washington DC went well and the flight left precisely on time. However, some of us might have wished that we had missed the plane: For almost an hour, we flew through some very annoying turbulence and more than one face turned a slightly greenish grey.

Luckily, we didn’t have one of these self-appointed air desperados in our group. You know, those people who tell everybody that this really is nothing, that they have had much worse on practically every flight before this one, and that you are a ninny for not being perfectly relaxed sitting in a bucking metal case 10,000 feet above ground not knowing what is still ahead of you. I think these people are the same guys who, 15 minutes before an exam, make your ears ring with all the stuff they have studied, insinuating that you are doomed if you haven’t done the same. ;-)

Of course, we landed safely in Houston. We went straight to the hotel where our rooms were ready and waiting. And, after a short break to freshen up a little, most of us stepped onto our Houston bus for a sightseeing tour with the charming Lucette.

Houston Skyline

Unfortunately, the weather was not very cooperative, quite cloudy and windy. But still, we were able to form a general picture of the outline of the city:- we learnt about the underground shopping areas, and could admire the rather small Old Town (two houses from the early 20th century!) from the bus. Houston is most famous for being Mission Control Centre for the US space agency (NASA) and seen by all of us on moon landings etc.. It also has the largest concentration of medical facilities in the world at The Texas Medical Centre. It is, however, not the state capital of Texas, this privilege being left to Austin.

Visitor Center

In Houston’s visitor centre, we watched a short film about the city that gave us an impression of a very lively and affluent town that doesn’t attract that much tourism, but a lot of business travellers. Such as ourselves, so to speak... ;-)

Mirò

A sculpture by Joan Mirò shows that Houston really does have some money in the bank...

Scarf Attacks

Between the skyscrapers, it was quite windy and Carola was even attacked by her own scarf when the breeze started to play seriously with pieces of our clothing...

You might wonder why the description of our Houston sightseeing tour is a little frugal. I must admit that days like this one, with tight schedules, are quite stressful and exhausting for me. As I could hand over both the microphone and the responsibility for the group’s entertainment to Lucette, I retreated to the back of the bus. And dozed off! I have the strong suspicion that there are some rather intrusive pictures of my, from my point of view, well-deserved nap... ;-)


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