Our last day in Chicago was another interesting mix.
We started by packing up to leave our accommodation but since our train did not depart until 9.30pm we needed somewhere to leave our luggage for the day. I had done some research on this before we left home and discovered that there are lockers available at Union Station in Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised as many transit hubs no longer offer this service since the 9/11 attacks. It would be $16 for a locker large enough to store our 2 cases for the day.
However, it does not pay to be too independent. I enquired at the Amtrak information booth in the main hall for directions to the lockers and the attendant asked if we had a private sleeper booking. Once this was confirmed, he assured me that we did not need a locker as we were entitled to entry to the Metropolitan Lounge which includes a baggage holding service. With our bags, safely stored at Union Station it was time to see some more of Chicago.
The Bloomingdale Trail or 606 is a 2.7 mile elevated walkway northwest of downtown Chicago. It can be accessed easily from Damen Station on the blue line. The trail has been established on a portion of disused railway line and is modelled on the same principles as New York’s High Line Park which we visited in 2012. However, it is different and almost double the length so is more of a trail than a park. On a warm Chicago day there were plenty of cyclists and joggers making the most of it. We simply strolled and took in the sights, including this piece made from recycled tyres.
By this time we had worked up an appetite for lunch so headed to ‘Antique Taco’ which was a short distance away. I did not take any photos as I was far too busy enjoying my meal but I can report that it was excellent and is deserving of accolades from Fodor’s.
Here is the menu so take a look. We shared a salad which I am planning to replicate at home. Sweet and spicy chicken tacos and mushroom tacos completed a memorable meal.
Just north of downtown Chicago is Lincoln Park, home to the free Chicago Zoo. The walkway as you approach the zoo provides an excellent photo opportunity.
Almost the first exhibit we saw was red kangaroos but the real highlight for us was the gorillas. There was a group of about 8 of them, some quite young up to a huge mature male. They seemed to be having a great deal of fun.
The look on the face of the snow leopard reminded me of Mr K – they really are just big cats!!
And back to Union Station to await our departure to Boston.