Travelogue "Wings To The West"
September 10 to October 2, 2005
Distance traveled: 4960 km

We booked through the travel agency Travel Agency Spillemaecker a three-week journey through the American western states. These travel packages are offered by Whings & Wheels and include pre-booked accommodation, a roadmap and a rental car from Alamo . Meals are not included, but in the US you have an ample supply for this. Unlike last year, we took this time no additional options such as. Reserved off. These can be ordered better spot which one can give reductions to seniors and the dollar relative to the favorable exchange rate of the Euro it also saves another 20%. For our flights we chose British Airways , the most economical and luxurious society. Besides the purchase of some Capitol-guides , we bought this year a TomTom navigation system with the US road map. All the trips were so equipped, so ... ready to go.


Day 1 Saturday, 10/09/2005: Brussels-Los Angeles 11:00 / 9800 km
After a long but successful flight we land in Los Angeles around 13 hours. Moments later we take the shuttle bus to the rental car company and use them for our rental car, a Chevrolet Uplander , and drive to our first hotel Holiday Inn Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood. The navigation system will guide us smoothly over the busy highways through this city of 13.8 million inhabitants and after half an hour we are already on site. We quietly take a room in the rooms, a nice shower and go here to explore around the hotel. It has been quick dinner time and we have a nice dinner in the hotel restaurant. After the meal with a glass of beer still just chat about the busy day is done and what is tomorrow scheduled. Not too long, however, because each one is tired and decides to take a good rest.


Day 2 Sunday, 11/09/2005: Hollywood (Los Angeles)
Our hotel is near Universal Studios , the theme park of the same film company. We did this park already to Florida last year, but here you can visit the film sets, as well as other events different from the other sites. First we took the Studio Tour , where you drive of recent and early films by bus through the different recording sets. Along the way they also have special 'stops' inserted where you're part of a movie and the live experiencing the full bus. Afterwards we visited for Special Effects , a set where you explain these effects; Backdraft , the set where they made recordings for this post; Shrek , a film in 4-D and Water World , a show in the setting of this film set. A ride in the Jurrasic Park log flume was a unique experience. In the afternoon we decided early to leave the theme park and go off to explore the famous Hollywood , especially to the Hollywood Boulevard. In a part of this avenue, near the Mann's Chinese Theater , we find engraved the stars in the sidewalk where names of celebrities. On this Walk Of Fame , we find there many prints of famous stars of the silver screen. In this area also run lots of fake stars which you can join in the picture. After a nice meal we left in the evening this neighborhood and drove back to our hotel.


Day 3 Monday 12/09/2005: Hollywood Santa Barbara 2:59 pm / 160 km
Our first relatively short trip is scheduled. But we want first recall the famous characters contemplate the hills of the city of Hollywood in person and riding a detour to this place. After a few snapshots we continue our way through Beverly Hills , the home of the jet set. Beautiful villas are in various rich avenues, but by high hedges and large fences and gates, we see little or nothing. Also, the shopping paradise of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, but there is still so early in the morning, so we drive to Santa Monica . This is a well-known seaside resort where many live entertainment and one can have fun shopping, the pier go or lazing on the beach. There is also the busy boardwalk, used by cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers. This location is also often used as a backdrop for filming, such as Baywatch. Via Highway 1, we finally arrive in Santa Barbara . After our move into the Marmonte Hotel , we drove to the center of this town, and walked through the beautiful streets with many old Spanish shops. We dined in a cozy restaurant with beautiful Spanish-Mexican resort and drove at nightfall back to the hotel. A good day was over.


Day 4 Tuesday 13/09/2005: Santa Barbara Monterey 6:35 pm / 370 km
Through the town of Solvang , a Danish settlement ever, we drove through the coastal route Highway 1 through great scenery and quaint old seaside towns, reaching just down San Simeon , famous for the impressive " Hearst Castle . However, the eccentric newspaper magnate William Hearst castle could no longer be visited, which we will confine ourselves to a walk through the museum and taking a snack. Afterwards we drove along the beautiful coastal road to our final destination today, the town of Monterey , a friendly coastal town with a beautiful bay. We first took up residence in our hotel Sand Dollar Inn , sat the luggage in the room and then followed the spectacular 17 Mile Drive around the bay. Along this route you will find 21 interesting stops, including for The Restless Sea Shore Course, Seal and Bird Rock, Cypress Point Lookout and Lone Cypress. The Monterey Bay is a maritime 'sanctuary' with rich inhabitants of the sea. Even the gray whale holds in the spring a stop on his trip to Mexico. Afterwards we went to dinner quietly in one of the cozy and excellent seafood restaurants on the pier Fishermans Wharf . Here was once the old sardine factory and fishing district, currently transformed into tourist shops and restaurants. A brilliant day through beautiful scenery was behind us.


Day 5 Wednesday 14/09/2005: Monterey-San Francisco 2:26 pm / 260 km
After breakfast we drove to go back to Carmel for a visit to Mission San Carlos Borromeo , with the tomb of Father Junipero Serra, the founder of the local missions. Then we headed toward San Francisco so we could get there earlier and therefore look a little more of the city. Around noon we were already at the reserved hotel Ramada Plaza Hotel and checked in, the cases brought to the room and took a lunch. Afterwards we took the car and navigated to the famous Lombard Street , the most winding street in the world of only 150 m in length. Then through the steep streets to the harbor and to the Fishermans Wharf , where we parked the car and afwandelden port. You'll find a maritime museum with a few ships from World War II, many souvenir shops and restaurants. As the sun finally burned through the clouds, we did a tour with the Red & White Fleet by the bay under the Golden Gate Bridge through and around the island of Alcatraz . So you have a beautiful view of the city skyline and the breathtaking suspension bridge that connects together both ends of the bay. After this journey of more than an hour, we drove through the steep streets of the city back to the hotel. We were looking forward to a nice meal and took it to the hotel. Afterwards, at a beer still here together to discuss what the next day went bedtime schedule and then ... !!!


Day 6 Thursday 15/09/2005: San Francisco
Because today was very cloudy and dark, we decided not too early to pull out. We chose the first destination to visit the huge Golden Gate Bridge and stopped in first at the visitor center where a small exhibition space is located on the building and the builders of this suspension bridge. Then we drove across the bridge and took a moment to enjoy from the other side of the bay of the beautiful view of all parts of the beautiful city. In return must then $ 5 tolls are paid, but that's the bridge it. By Alamo Square with its typical Victorian houses, we drove back to the port in order to board the Bleu & Gold Fleet for a 3 hour visit to the former prison island of Alcatraz . Once on "the rock" get each a small audio device with headphone, which leads quietly through the complex and told all the facts. You look at the cells where the notorious Al Capone was locked up and go through the rooms where prisoners stayed until the closure in 1962. After this visit we went to Pier 39 a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that give a view of the dock with wooden rafts on which dozens of sea lions lie to frolic. Afterwards, some strolling through the many shops and then back to the car. It was parked in the vicinity of Bay Street, where the famous Cable Car , Cable Car San Francisco, has a turning point and pulls back through the steep streets of the city. Half an hour later we ate a nice glass near the hotel and talked about the wonderful time we had in this lovely city.


Day 7 Friday 16/09/2005: San Francisco-Oakhurst 4:46 pm / 305 km
For this afternoon we left the city over the Oakland Bridge and stopped in the middle of this 13.5 km long bridge on Treasure Island for a last view of the skyline of San Francisco. Through Livermore and Tracy we headed through Oakdale the largest wind farm in the world. Hundreds of windmills were lined up on the windswept hills and have this whole region of the necessary electricity. Just past Chinese Camp we took Hwy 49 south and already noticed the mountainous nature of the road, typical for the area of Yosemite Park. Via Mariposa we reached the small town of Oakhurst, located at 920 m altitude and our destination today. So we stay west of the park and can reserve their visit be for tomorrow. We moved into the Best Western Yosemite Gateway Inn , a hotel designed as a refuge, but with modern comfort and luxury. Here, the weather was warm and invited the pool to swim. Afterwards just lounging on the terrace and dinner in the lovely restaurant.


Day 8 Saturday, 09/17/2005: Yosemite National Park
Today we have the whole day to Yosemite National Park to visit. This is perhaps the most beloved and most beautiful park in California and is situated in the western part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The center of the park, "visitor village ', is only an hour's drive away. Along the way you drive through the park entrance where you have to take a ticket. The rate is per car and costs $ 20. However, we took a pass granted access to all National Parks in the US and remains valid for one year. This did take $ 50, but we visit on this trip at least seven of these parks and do it this way so profitable. You also get to the park entrances always ask the relevant park, as well as other useful information. A little later we drove to the valley where are located the main viewpoints, including the spectacular 740-meter-high Yosemite Falls, Tunnel View with Bridalveil Falls and the unmissable sublime Glacier Point. Through Yosemite Valley is a road which forms a circle and partially one-way provision. For the coming 'Village' has this loop are made almost entirely, which in itself is a beautiful discovery. At El Capitan, the 1370 meter high granite rock, we saw mountaineers to work. Here also start nice 'trails (walks). whose Mirror Lake Loop is one of the most beautiful and accessible to everyone, as well as Sierra Point Trail along which lie five waterfalls. Upon returning from the trough reached in the southern Mariposa Grove 500 giant Sequoia trees at including the famous Wawona-Tree, where a tunnel is carved. On the way back to Oakhurst we stopped at the old train station which is currently being converted into a museum and exhibits several old steam locomotives. With some suggest you can still drive a short route and method contemplate how one time timber transported from this station. Then we returned to the hotel and enjoyed a delicious meal. A day in pure nature had apparently fueled our appetite. Afterwards a nice shower, just study the road book and tired between the sheets ...


Day 9 Sunday, 18/09/2005: Oakhurst-Bakersfield 6:45 pm / 430 km
Today we have a tough ride ahead. Not so much a long distance, but mostly through parks with lengthy curvy roads. In time to leave so, stuffing the tank and then via Highway 41 toward Fresno. Here we take the 180 East to and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park . At the entrance to Kings Canyon we show our pass for the US Parks and get a map and an information paper on this park. Further on we follow the left path to the General Grant Tree, the second largest redwood tree in the world and the beautiful accompanying Visitor Center. This 30-mile long road to Cedar Grove and Fog falls through the canyon is probably very nice but a dead end, so we have to go back along the same road. We still all the way through the park ahead of us and will be with the necessary stops very late arriving at our destination, so we keep it here just to visit this huge tree and a brief stop at the visitor center. A little later we continue our journey through the 198 through the Sequoia National Park and stop first at the Lookout, a stunning panoramic view of the canyon. A little further we love also stop at the General Sherman Tree, the oldest living thing on Earth. This giant is 83 m high, measuring 11 m in diameter and has a base circumference of 31 m. You get the mamoetboom hardly your picture! Yet just down the Giant Forrest leads a road to Moro Rock, an imposing granite block of 2,050 m. There is a small narrow little road carved out of the rock where you have the National Park sturdy climbing a stunning panorama after about 10 minutes. Highly recommended! On the way back to the main road you have the car under a fallen redwood tree by our minivan and looks very small. A pleasant surprise. From here it is increasingly descend through winding roads to more than 1,500 m lower over the Tree Rivers beyond the town Visalia by driving. From here we drive another 100 km via the Highway 99 before we arrive in about 19 you to Bakersfield. We stay in the reserved Clarion Hotel and then move to a Steakhouse to strengthen the inner man. The day was long, but the trip immensely beautiful and ranging.


Day 10 Monday 19/09/2005: Bakersfield-Death Valley 5:41 pm / 370 km
After breakfast again the suitcases in the car, check, set navigation and we leave Bakersfield. The first part is a quiet ride through Lake Isabelle , in the Sequoia National Forrest, a region where winter many tourists seek out the snow. Further on we follow the road towards the town of Olancha and turn right for the 190 and in the heart of the barren Death Valley , a valley area of approx. 7,770 km² and has a location 86 m below sea level also the lowest point throughout North America. We drive over the ridge that surrounded the valley and make a stop at the "Padre Crowley Point, where you have a beautiful view over the valley dead. When we open the door of the car cooled with air conditioning, you immediately feel the tremendous heat. The sun scorches the landscape here with temperatures of 70 ° C, allowing the residents of this area (scorpions, snakes, prairie dogs, etc.) are still hidden in the shade of caves or under a rock. Only now we realize why in the road book we recomend to start this trip with a full tank and a sufficient supply of drinking water. It is best to avoid here is that you have bad luck with the car, and if you do happen there prepare to be good at. Have a mobile phone you do nothing, because there simply are no poles here in this region. This is true for all national parks, so you're reliant on pay phones in the 'villages' or regular patrols of the park rangers. We continue our way to the middle of the valley and are then suddenly the town of Stovepipe Wells Village at a number of wooden houses that serve as hotel with accompanying restaurant, swimming pool, general store and gas station. Here we will soon spend the night. Although it's only noon, we first decide to check in and put our stuff in our rooms. Then, a quick bite (It's hot here still much to be hungry) and we decide to visit the Scotty's Castle , a magnificent castle-like structure in the North v / d valley. After an hour through no man's land, we reach the entrance of the domain and using our park pass may not pay more. This castle was originally built by a prospector and was named after him after his death. The building is located in an oasis of green and is extremely nicely decorated. After a walk through and around the building, we quench our thirst in the local shop. Some time later we drive back towards Stovepipe Wells, and take a nice refreshing shower. The sun sinks slowly behind the surrounding mountains to the heat bearable ever begins. It's almost time for dinner, we can enjoy here in beautiful restaurant, decorated like years back during the prospector period. Afterwards just stroll through the 'village', between the various buildings are numerous attributes of mijnontgingers and reminded of their pitiful existence in this rugged region. The local "Saloon" we enjoy some delicious Budweiser and pull over to our rooms. We stay a while for our room to lean the car and see the beautiful sky with thousands of stars. Here in this dark valley with only a small lantern in the neighborhood, you have a wonderful view of the starry sky and you realize how small and insignificant but only humans on Earth and the universe. Here nature commands respect. We talk a bit about the past day and crawl eventually satisfied in bed.

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Day 11 Tuesday 20/09/2005: Death Valley Las Vegas 4:40 pm / 210 km
Upon awakening our surprise was very big when we looked through the window; it rained in Death Valley! Not violent, but enough to get wet. After breakfast the suitcases in the car and capture the relatively short ride to Las Vegas. Once driving, we find that the roads are not presented here for this weather and heaps treacherous places where puddles remain on the roadway. Alternatively, you notice that the few fauna present here will receive the rain with open leaves and fully enjoy the sky moisture. A little further we drive past the Visitor Center and Furnance Creek , but apparently these stops are closed because of the bad weather we drive forced but beyond. Through Pahrump and the track 160 East (Blue Diamond Road) we leave the state of California and Nevada in driving. So we arrive in Las Vegas go and ride a section along the 5 km long famous Las Vegas Boulevard, or " The Strip 'with dozens of luxury hotels, casinos, restaurants and coffee shops. At this early time, however, there is still to be seen but little activity and guides our navigator Tom us to the reserved hotel Best Western Mardi Gras . After checking the luggage in the room, we refresh yourself and attract something dignified for our trip to 'The Strip'. First we visit the Stratosphere Hotel with its 358 m high tower. To enter the tower you must have the whole hotel and pay an entrance. After a thorough security scan step into one of the many double elevators, each with two cabins above the other. Just 4 seconds, you bring it to the 320 m higher panorama hall. Here you have really phenomenal view of Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The many hotel-casinos on the Strip sparkle with their neon signs and it seems like the most famous buildings in the world are housed in one place. Faithful copies of the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Pyramid of Cheops, St. Mark's Square and many others decorate the various grotesque hotels. Above the panomarazaal there is another floor outdoors. Here you will find several attractions that include another shoot the height or leave rage in a rollercoaster around the tower. The ultimate thrill you get in the new insanty , a ride where you literally falling over the edge of the tower in the depth or in a spin mill 350 m hangs dangling. But unfortunately because of the wind this floor temporarily closed and we would come down to visit one of the other hotel / casinos. The choice is vast and pulling everyone tries with huge posters and public shows. Stars like Celine Dion or Barry Manilow occur daily here. Ultimately, our choice falls on the New York Hotel & Casino . The courtyard is decorated as Times Square and you feel like you're really here in the streets of Manhattan. The entire complex rollercoaster hurtles the Manhattan Express and get immediate magnificent view include the Statue of Liberty that stands to shine at full size among other buildings of the real city. Afterwards we went to dine at one of the many restaurants of the hotel. Then at the casino as a gamble and enjoy many shows. We realize that Las Vegas can not be visited one evening and riding one last time along the many lit hotels and casinos. Everything is accented with neon lights and looks evenings wonderful against a dark sky. Moments later we park the car at our hotel, and talk some more after crawling under the covers.


Day 12 Wednesday 21/09/2005: Las Vegas-Zion / Bryce C. 5:31 pm / 405 km
The next morning, leaving Las Vegas and drive through the Highway 15 North to St.George in the state of Utah. Here we cross the time limit and we must watch reversing an hour, making the difference with Belgium but is 8 hours. The stark white Mormons Cathedral testified here a strengthened scattered Mormon community. Through the nine East we drive over to the Hurricane Zion National Park . Once through the park entrance and show our pass for all parks, we get usual, a folder with the best viewpoints and enjoy this beautiful, impressive nature area. Between grille rock formations follow the busier toerischtische route Zion Canyon Scenic Drive " and drive by striking rock formations such as the Great White Throne, the Sentinel Court, the Court of The Patriarchs and the Mountain of the Sun. On leaving the park on the eastern side we drive takes an approx. 1.5 km long tunnel towards Mount Carmel Junction. Via Highway 89 North, we turn just past the village of Hatch right through Red Canyon . Here, the wind, the rocks so eroded that it looks like the tops are carved by human hands. The entire canyon is red limestone forming a unique spectacle. A little further on we come to the entrance of the magnificent park of Bryce Canyon . Right across from the very well known Ruby's Inn is Bryce Canyon Lodge , where we will spend the next night. The cold thin air, you notice that we stay here at an altitude of approx. 2,200 m. The trip through the park we do tomorrow and now move into our reserved room. Unlike previous days it here very fresh and we immediately put the heating on. Then we move to the 'village' and sniff a break in the many Indian shops. A little later we go Ruby's Inn in and enjoy it a very tasty buffet supper. After dinner we walk around in the complex and let there also burn our photos on CD, so that the memory cards can be reused again. We take some cans of drinks with the drug store for the room and walk back to the hotel. Some watching the news, the weather forecast watching and relaxing under the warm sheets.


Day 13 Thursday 22/09/2005: Bryce Canyon Page 3:50 pm / 225 km
It's indeed very cold during the night, because when we load the luggage into the car, we have to start the car to thaw the partially frozen windows. What a journey this has been; two days back in Death Valley, we almost melted and now the windows to freeze! After breakfast at Ruby's Inn we drive to Bryce Canyon NP in. At the entrance we demonstrate again our access card and get a map and information brochure. The park is divided from north to south by a 30 km long road that follows a beautiful parcours through the woods. We pass many vantage points in order to arrive at Yovimpa Point, the end of the park road in the south of the park. On the way back we stop at Farview Point at an altitude of 2,483 m and offers an impressive view of the canyon. We also make a stop at the most important points such as Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, Sunrise Point and Point Faryland there and enjoy the beautiful panoramas on the bizarre limestone formations. This canyon is the nicest we saw so far. After the tour we stop at the entrance of the park and get into the shop what to eat on the go and drink. We drive back through the 89 South to Mount Carmel Junction and follow this road through Kanab direction Page . We now leave the state of Utah and driving in Arizona. Although this is also is in the same time zone as Utah, here again is a 9 hour difference with Belgium. Arizona does not use daylight saving time, but closes during the summer time with the western states. It's a different way of working, which only two US states adhere. Shortly after noon we were already at Lake Powell and take a moment stop to contemplate the large reservoir. What we bring further visit to the massive Glen Canyon Dam , the first dam encountered by the Colorado River on its way and this whole region provides power. The complex is like many other important American buildings highly secure and it may just inside with a camera in hand. Handbags are not allowed, so we leave most of it in the car. Inside you can on the basis of photographs, drawings and films show how was the construction of the dam in his work. We also participate in the guided tour and descend below the dam where eight generators provide power generation. A nice detail we learn here; these generators were built in our small country! From down here you have a better impression of the 520 m high hussars artwork. After the tour we drive on the immensely high bridge spanning the Glen Canyon and reach beyond our Hotel Quality Inn Page . We are here for two nights and stay all day tomorrow in this region. After our move into the room we go to the city on foot Page and order in one of the many Steak Houses and tasty Rib Eye. After the meal we walked over yet karaoke terrace. I could not resist the challenge and sang before an enthusiastic audience. Besides Eddy Wally I was now suddenly seen in the United States of America! A little later we looked back at the hotel and walked a while the road book. It was a beautiful day.


Day 14 Friday, 09.23.2005 Page
This day we decide to take it easy, because the last days were very tiring in terms of driving, navigating and lack of (free) time. We decide as planned today to make a boat trip on the lake, but not this to Rainbow Bridge. The reason: duration of the trip is approximately 8 hours and cost is $ 150 per person.. That's why we drive to the harbor and see the spot supply. We reserve the Antelope Canyon cruise , a trip of 1½ you and $ 50 per person. The tour leaves at 14:30, so we have all the time and drive back to the hotel to relax a bit. While the others what are lounging around the pool, we pull into town. Page is a small town of approx. 8,000 inhabitants which is not actually on the lake, but Manson Mea, a plateau above the southern shore of the lake. By the afternoon we gather back at the hotel and drive back to the port. As well we have the pass for the National Parks, because the harbor is expensive would come immediately in such a park and just drive back and forth. The Lake Powell Resort we have lunch and then ship for a trip across the lake to the dam and through the enormous red cliffs reflecting in the lake. At one point the boat through such a narrow canyon that he is forced to return, which in itself is very impressive. At this location were already a lot of twisted films. After the tour we drove back to Page and left our car in the meantime become very dirty just wash a car wash. It costs only $ 5 and the windows are clean again right away so we can shoot back and shoot while driving. Then, on a terrace quench our thirst, because it's extremely hot. Afterwards a while strolling along the many shops and it is again time to go to dinner. In a typical Old Western Steakhouse we eat our fill around and enjoy it local 'live' Country Band. The day is almost over and a good night's sleep, our batteries will be recharged.


Day 15 Saturday, 24/09/2005: Page-Grand Canyon 3:25 pm / 240 km
Today there is a relatively short trip on the program, but we still want to leave early to soon be able to explore the Grand Canyon. Via route 89 we pass the town of Cameron in an arc around the western edge of the Painted Dessert and thereby cut the edge of Navajo National Monument . A little further on we turn right on route 64 and reach some 20 miles later, the world famous Grand Canyon Park . Just past the park entrance, where as in our other parks will not be checked and we get a map, we arrive at the first place overlooking Desert View , one of the few stops where you can refresh. In the local tower you have a magnificent view over the Grand Canyon, Painted Dessert and the Kaibab National Forrest. Later we drive along the 'viewpoints' Lipan Point , one of the most overlooking the many convolutions of the Colorado River, Grand View Point with perhaps the broadest panorama and near the village Yavapai Point, known for the most beautiful sunset. Since we were the day before had already booked a helicopter flight for this afternoon, we decided to first go to the reserved hotel Rodeway Inn Red Feather driving and to leave our luggage in the rooms behind. After lunch at the local Tusayan , we drive to the heliport and come to learn that all flights were canceled today because of the strong winds in and around the canyon. They rebooked us immediately before the first flight of the morning, so we still have time to Hermits Rest Route explore. This western part you can only visit by shuttle, but Access can obtain permission to visit this part of the private car. You'll get a map with the different 'window views' where you drive up just to stand next to the abyss and thus have a beautiful view of the more than 1,500 m deep Grand Canyon. After 15 km you reach the end Hermits Rest and return via the Train Station to Tusayan and our hotel. Yet as a refreshing shower and we stabbing the main road into The Grand Hotel to enjoy a nice meal while contemporary Indians let us see in their traditional outfit different song and dance rituals of their ancestors. In this way, the evening will be over and a good night's sleep in the middle of this natural wonder are very welcome.


Day 16 Sunday, 25/09/2005: Grand Canyon Scottsdale 5:07 pm / 305 km
After breakfast in the car suitcases and drive to the Heliport where we Papillon Helicopter Tours a helicopter flight will take over the Grand Canyon . We have half an hour before departure sign us and are then individually weighed and briefed, and then to wait our turn in the departure hall. Moments later, we sit in one of the nine helicopters and embark on the flight over the 700-km-long ravine where the Colorado River for millions of years has been excavated and more than 1,500 m flowing among us its course. This really is the ultimate way to watch over this natural spectacle. You fly along the steep walls and falls off one end of this huge ravine. In a large curve along the slightly less toerischtische on the other side located North Rim , and after half an hour we land back in the heliport. Yet as soon pick up our photos and diplomas and we leave this world wonder toward Flagstaff . Via ALT 89 we drive to Sedona and through the Oak Creek Canyon , an impressive landscape of very high towering cliffs and weathered rock formations of red sandstone that should only inferior in size to the Grand Canyon. Along the 179 we get back on Highway 17 and reach a little further Montezuma's Castle , one of the best preserved Cliff dwelling (ancient Indian fortress in the rocks) from the southwest of the USA. One last time to show our pass for the parks and we can within the domain. After this visit we will take some time for a quick lunch and then drive on to Phoenix . This huge sprawling city is enclosed with lengthy (car) roads, but our navigation system guides us smoothly to Scottsdale , a district on the eastern edge where the reserved hotel Days Inn Fashion Square is located. Because tomorrow we have a day off and the car would not have to use it, we decide after checking in to the domain Rawhide Western Town drive, a typical copy of an Old Western town from the days of the Wild West. Here you can walk along the Saloon, the Sheriff's Depo, the Black Blacksmith and numerous other buildings around a sandy main street, where rugged cowboys on horseback nazitten together and firefights engage with each other. At regular intervals there are shows for young and old, and you can see how it is time to went on in 'The Wild West'. Night falls and we enter the local steakhouse like before tucking into a tasty grilled T-bone. Meanwhile, the band treated us to one country songs and dances, the traditional two-step. After dinner we drive back to the hotel and we drink a few beers in the adjoining bar. Tired but satisfied we dive later in the evening under the sheets.


Day 17 Monday 26/09/2005: Scottsdale
Today finally a day to sleep even longer, to relax around the pool or simply to go shopping in the adjacent shopping mall enormous Scottsdale Fashion Square Mal . The large pool cools off nicely, but still it stay better with the enormous heat in airconditioned refrigerated stores. This day off is extremely welcome and recharge the batteries again.


Day 18 Tuesday 27/09/2005: Scottsdale San Diego 6:46 pm / 560 km
Today there is a long drive to San Diego on the program and we leave already for 8 hours. From Phoenix we drive through secondary road 85 to Gila Bend and then towards Yuma . Yuma Dessert is a known training ground for the US military and we see numerous helicopters and fighter planes skim through the air. The motorway is nearby, next to the Mexican border and we have regularly checkpoints, where they check the cars. There are also patrolling the road many police cars. Meanwhile, we leave the state of Arizona and ride again in California. By the afternoon we arrive in El Centro , where we visit the colorful boutiques and specialty stores from the Mexican border population. An excellent moment for lunch. Two hours we arrive in San Diego and the reserved Howard Johnson Seaworld Hotel . After we were assigned our rooms, there was still time to go into town and I suggest the navigator towards Gaslamp Quarter , an important historical district of San Diego and a wonderful neighborhood for walking and doing terraces. All the streets in this area are illuminated with beautiful antique gaslights and bring about a nostalgic atmosphere. We park the car in the Seaport Village , where many fishing boats, yachts and cruise ships are docked. In this neighborhood you will find plenty of restaurants and we can dine with a view of the bay. Afterwards we wandered a bit through the many shops located in here and drove back to the vicinity of the hotel. Just one drug store in order to bring some cans of beer and then eat this cozy room. A long but successful day is over.


Day 19 Wednesday 28/09/2005: San Diego
As the first destination we decide to Coronado Beach to drive to the other side of the bay. For this we need the 70-meter-high Coronado Bridge , and unique piece of architecture 3.4 km long located in a bow to curl the entrance to the bay. Here we find the famous Coronado Hotel in, once the location where the movie " Some like it hot 'with Marlyn Monroe and Tony Curtis was filmed. From here you have a beautiful view of the San Diego skyline and Marinehaven which include many aircraft carriers have their home base. After a walk on the dike, we drive back to the Seaport Village , there park the car and go to the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum visits. This is located aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway, which was taken out of service in 1982 and now accommodates several airplanes and accessories that previously were on duty in the US Navy. This audio-guided tour takes ± 4 hours and gives you a different view of what the US military has in store. In the late afternoon we walk consider The Old Town , a neighborhood of adobe houses in Spanish style. The restaurants and souvenir shops can not be counted there, including the "Bazar Del Mondo", a copy of a typical Mexican market. In the evening we return to the Seaport Village and lodge us at one of the seafood restaurants. Our last day in this beautiful city is almost over and we enjoy some of the beautiful views of the bay. It is about time to return to the hotel.


Day 20 Thursday, 09/29/2005: San Diego Anaheim 1:36 pm / 155 km
On our journey is slowly coming to an end and the journey to the final destination is on the program. However, it is but a short distance, so we stop here en route to the Mission San Juan Capistrano , an old mission that was almost completely destroyed in 1812 by an earthquake. The remaining residues are still maintained because it acts as a wonderful place of pilgrimage and is visited quite numerous. An hour later we drive to Long Beach , one of the many beaches in Los Angeles. This seaside resort is The Queen Mary , the largest prewar ocean liner in the world, docked and now serves as a floating hotel and museum. This ocean liner, once owned by the White Star Line , sailed as packet weekly between Southampton and New York. During World War II did the ship service for troop transport. The advent of airliners, however, did the vessels is a lot of competition, making this day be just yet such ships built for cruises. After lunch we drive through the local districts to Anaheim and the reserved Anaheim Plaza Hotel , right on the Disneyland complex. It is very hot and having put after the suitcases in the room, we dive into the pool for a swim. A while later we walk down here and enjoy the neighborhood there on a terrace with a nice cool drink. It's already time for dinner, which we eat this time in the local Mexican restaurant. Very tasty and very cheap!


Day 21 Friday, 30/09/2005: Anaheim
Our last day we decide to give up your car and quietly spend the day in the Disneyland resort , that right across the hotel is located at 5 min walk. We take a ticket for both parks and go first to the landscaped in 2001. Disney's California Adventure , with many spectacular attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror , a breathtaking ride on the lift at the Hollywood Hotel. Additionally you have the railway California Screaming , the wonderful 3D ride Soarin 'over California , the long spectacular whitewater Grizzly River Fun and numerous other' rides' for young and old. In the afternoon it was traditional park Disneyland resort turn, that just as in Florida in four regions or "nation" is constructed around the fairytale castle of Snow White. The four countries, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. A large number of attractions have recently renewed or upgraded because of this first park of Walt Disney its 50 year anniversary. We decided to take it easy out three and walked tasty attractions through the park and enjoy all the beauty and the famous Disney locations. At any place in the park you will find several animation, tinged with a touch of Disney music. At the end of the day we go to Main Street for the parade to attend, wonderful for all the different Disney characters come to see as beyond. The brightly lit street and floats accentuate even more the beauty, and both young and old look with amazement at the impressive procession. All this beauty is closed in the evening with a magnificent fireworks display. Afterwards we go back to the hotel and start making our luggage ready for the trip tomorrow. The three weeks flew by ...


Day 22 Saturday, 01/10/2005: Anaheim LA Int.Airport 0:46 pm / 65 km
We have all the time to go to Los Angeles International Airport to drive, because our return flight leaves at 15:35 am. First quiet breakfast, check out and then our navigator set to us effortlessly through the maze of Los Angeles freeways in guides to the Alamo rental car depot. With some sadness we leave our Chevi and the shuttle us to the airport building. Baggage check-in, through security, and after a second or so hours we sit on flight BA278 bound for London. It was a fantastic trip to remember ...