Thursday, August 06, 2015

More Montana - Helena!

Another fun part of our trip to Montana was a little exploration of the capital, Helena.  Even though Helena is the capital, it is not a very large town. It actually was really pretty quaint.

I need to tell you, in case you don't know, the correct way to pronounce Helena.
It is NOT Hu-lane-uh.  It is Helen (like the name) + Uh (like you can't think of what you want to say next. Really.

One of our first stops was to the capital building itself.

Is that really the governor sitting there? I am not sure. There was a sign welcoming us in but we aren't technically Montana citizens right now so it seemed rude to interrupt him. So, we may or may not have spotted the governor.

Capital buildings are great places to see interesting architecture.

We pretty much had access to all the big rooms as nothing was going on at that time. Mike & I were there in the 70's when our high school sent two classes to watch the legislature in action. I don't think I learned anything then but I'd like to sit in on it now. I'd pay more attention. Back then, I think I was mostly paying attention to Mike.

That is not a real couple up there... it is a statue.

There! Now you can see Mike and Maureen Mansfield. They were very friendly.

Can you see that flower garden? It is in the shape of the state of Montana!

The next day we went through the nation's saddest mall. There were so many empty stores!  The hallway felt dark with all the darkened spaces.

After that, we went on a touristy "train" ride. Here's our engineer who went around greeting folks before we started our tour of Helena.

I love being a tourist. There is so little pressure to be "cool".  Good thing.

We saw a lot of interesting homes!

Many were old mansions with historic stories to go with them. Too bad I can't remember which home belonged to whom. It would have been a more interesting blog, wouldn't it?

He drove us down their "walking mall". They have a hilly downtown area and they've made it an outdoor mall where there are several blocks with no cars allowed. Trains WERE allowed.  Our engineer cheerily rang a little bell and store owners came out to greet us and to remind us to come back later to check out their stuff.  We did.  It would have been rude if we had not.

Aren't they friendly?

This cathedral was beautiful.  Our engineer told us a tale of a pilot flying his little plane between those steeples!  We were told that military pilot was quickly reassigned to the infantry. Who knows how much truth was in that story. Did he turn the plane sideways or what?

We also returned to the cathedral and went inside. They give tours but it was pretty quiet at that moment.

Really beautiful...

I think the ceilings were the most fascinating.

I loved the old, old buildings downtown.

We had a delightful little time in Helena.  I wouldn't mind living in a place like that.

Next up...Gates of the Mountains!  

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