U.S.A-3 from New Orleans to San Francisco

Trip Start Unknown
Trip End Apr 20, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, May 15, 1982

After New Orleans we reached 
SAN ANTONIO, Texas does not recall me much except for :
1- the lokk of a Mexican city with white houses
2- we had our dinner in a mexican restaurant where we ate well but at a certain moment I was curious to try the mini-vase with little pieces of vegetables that a man at the tabel close to ours was eating, so I ordered to the waiter one similar and......5 seconds after I had some pieces in my mouth I could not breathe anymore, my face became totally red and my girlfriend Rossella shouted Help, he is dying, we need a doctor, ahahahahahah!
I survived.....but after that accident I have no more tried anything like that!

El PASO was the next stop. Similar to Berlin or Gorizia, the italian city divided in two by the border.
  The name of the Mexican city across the border was Ciudad Juarez and we reached it 
by foot along a bridge and after it there were a lot of shops selling leather and clothing. 
 I bought a pair of red boots that I have tried to use only a couple of times as they are too tight.
I also remember the remaining pieces  of a broken house,  just a piece of wall with the red symbol of the communist party (sickle and hammer) and the writing Lucha (fight). I took the picture but it is in a file that does not allow me to post it here, what a pity!

From El Paso we arrived at FLAGSTAFF a very pleasant town in a green district, hills and forests, a mountain town and the centre for a lot of excursion that we made in the region visiiting 

-the Painted desert, amazing place with sand dunes of different colours and created by wind and rain;

-the National Petrified Forest, pieces of trees changed in  brown and red stones because of chemical phenomenons

-the Meteor Crater, impressing large crater created by a meteorite fallen on earth millions of years before

- the GRAND CANYON amazing wonder of the nature, one of most beautiful place visited  in my life
we stayed at Gran Canyon Village, very well organized, close to the south rim and we went down by foot upto the Indian Gardens, a plateau from which we could see the Colorado river down below
I remember the bus drived by a nice old woman, about 70 years of age; she drove, spoke on microphone explaning the tour and sold the tickets, smiling and joking
I think that it was the best imagine that I have of the United States
in Italy for the same job three different workers would have been employed 
that's the difference!
I also remember that at the selfservice of the village we met a nice waiter who invited us to a private party at a close house of her friend
when we arrived they accompanied into a bathroom where the bath tub with ice there were so many cans of beer
well I enjoyed the party and .....I said just crazy banana, I do not know why, but I repetead those words a lot of time obtaining always a great success and everybody was laughing except Rossella

DEATH VALLEY had become famous in Italy because was the location of the movie Zabriskie Point filmed by italian director Antonioni . I rember Dante's view, many sandy hills and arid deserted valley, but also a lot of flowers and even a little resort village with green yards and a swimmingpool , incredible! the business arrive everywhere!

LAS VEGAS is the maximum of the Kitsch but I liked and enjoyed a lot but.....I did not spend a single cent at Casino while I ate very well in a luxury restaurant and I payed only 10 dollars. There were three waiters around us and we had a lot of glasses on the table and did not know with what we had to drink
 We visited the two districts: down town and the Strip, the long avenue with many giant thema hotels on both sides: Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Circus Circus., among the most famous ...I remember other hotels but because I returned in Las Vegas in 1990 and all these were built after my visit in 1982
We stayed in a motel with swimmingpool and we slept by day and strolled around by night.
There were slot machines even in the bathrooms! I really do not understand the American people who work hard for a whole life and then come to Las Vegas and spend everything in a couple of days! 
 Anyway that's american way of life! Not everybody I hope.
It is a big business started hundred years ago when people going west passed that region and someone found a good idea to stop them: if  they stayed there one week or less they could get married in short time and without any problem of bureaucracy. 

 The casino came after and now is maybe the American city with the greatest rate of development and had become a metropolis with around 3 million people living  there but when I visited it in 1982 there were about 600,000 inhabitants only if I remember well.
We also visited a wedding chapel, it was possible to get married paying about one hundred dollar, all included and my parents believed that I had gone there to get married with Rossella as she had divorced in Italy and had to wait some years in order to celebrate a new wedding

Next stop YOSEMITE VALLEY, wonderful place with high waterfalls from the mountains, a river in the middle of the valley, a wooden luxury hotel used even  by the President of U.S.A.when he received Heads of State coming from abroad and the Half Dome where the free climbing had been invented and practiced for the first time
some years after I had an excursion in a little valley in northern Lombardy: Val di Mello and I remained astonished as it was a little copy of Yosemite Valley. Infact when I told this impression to the owner of a local guesthouse, she went upstairs and came back with a magazine inside which there was an article that reported my same impression with photos of some American climbers who  had come in the valley and found a school of free climbing!

Last but not least SAN FRANCISCO the most beautiful American city: wonderful!
First of all the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. I have an incredible story about it. When we were in New York City we walked along the Brookling Bridge and we met John, an english guy who was travelling alone and with only a little small back pack.
One month later, on the other side of the U.S.A. we met him again on the bridge over the bay of San Francisco! the world is really little! wow!

 Anyway Sausalito is really nice, a town for artists, very fine!
We also went by boat to the famous island of Alcatraz (in Milan is the name of one big concert hall!)
 and visited the famous prison where a lot of movies were filmed (Clint Eastwood was one of the actor of one of it).
And then Height Ashbury the hippy street of 1968, Citylights the bookstore of the poet Ferlinghetti who published the famous and scandalous collection Howl by Allen Ginsberg's of the writer Ferlinghetti  and and the CAFFE TRIESTE, my God! yes, opened and managed by a man of my city!  
 the Transpyramid America, a modern styled skyscraper, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Noble Hill and the murales of the Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the Golden Gate Park and the beach with some men surfing, the Pavillon of flowers and the park that hosts some buffaloes
And of course....the  cablecar, the symbol of San Francisco and its amazing houses, each different of the next one, most made of coloured painted wood.
I remember at the last stop of the cable car, in front of Alcatraz, a classic tower and a nice park along the bay, a former chocolate factory converted into a shopping center
Have I forgotten anything?  Another surprise was the 24 hours non stop shops and the cheapy and excellent chinese restaurants that for us were a good alternative to the usual hamburgers and french fries or tasty pizzas, among the best in the world! 
What else? I do not remember anything else, but I think that it is enough!
Bye to the next!                                     
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