Sunday, December 9, 2012

Walking Minneapolis Skyways

Yesterday I set off just at sunrise for a restaurant where I had breakfast. Then I hopped a bus to the 46th Street Station of the light rail and went to downtown Minneapolis. There I took a bus to 9th Street and started to find the YMCA.  It wasn't where it used to be. I asked about three people before one told me it can't be found anymore at street level and so then I finally found a way to get into the skyway and started towards where I thought it should be. But while on street level I got a nice photo of a street sculpture.

As can be seen we had a skiff of snow yesterday.

Finally got into the skyway, found the YMCA, got my route map and then took off.

But some readers may be asking what is a skyway.

Here is a view of one as it crosses a street. One can get all over the downtown area of Minneapolis -- and also St. Paul -- without going outside. This obviously is an advantage in the winter months!

Here is a view of one from the inside.

This skyway is empty because it was early on a Saturday morning when businesses are closed, as well as many of the fast food restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses such as dry cleaners.

The route took us over to Target Field and its associated parking garage. On the way back the sun popped out a bit, and I got this photo of Target Field.

 I looked down and noticed that the snow had made a very interesting pattern with the light rail tracks.

We headed through the skyways to Target Center (see a pattern here!) and then into the retail area between Neiman Marcus and Sak's Fifth Avenue Outlet.

The stained glass in the ceiling makes this a very attractive space, and holiday decorations are just icing on the cake. I stopped in this area for a bit and had a cup of coffee.

Then the route took off east and then quite a bit north through the skyway system to the Churchill condo buildings. Then the route backtracked towards the Convention Center. Somewhere in here I took a wrong turn and never found the "wood paneled skyway." I took an exit outside and walked a couple blocks and then entered another building and got back on the skyway. A walk through the Convention Center skyways produced a chance to get a nice picture of the Minneapolis skyline (complete with a window reflection, sorry).

We needed to get to the Hyatt Hotel and look over the balcony and count how many steps separated the main floor from the lounge area to prove we had really walked this far.

Then backtracked towards the start/finish point.

While in the skyway for the International Center I couldn't resist one of those "mirror" photographs.

I passed through the atrium of the IDS building. It always feels like a summer day here.

When I got the start/finish point, the woman at the desk asked for my start number. I thought she simply wanted to check me off on the list. Instead she said, "You won a door prize."

Much to my delight I received a Christmas ornament from Uzbekistan.

This more than made up for the initial frustration I had in finding the YMCA and the start desk.

Took the train back to the 46th Station and then grabbed a bus back to where I had parked my car. A good time walking in the Minneapolis skyways.

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