A huge Italian Renaissance styled building with the usual rotunda arising from the middle of it and the pink granite that originates from the earth of Texas makes quite an impressive statement.
A guide is available should you want to walk the tour he offers and the history lesson he provides. I did the tour because I like the history lesson. Terrazzo with emblems embedded from different color terrazzo decorate the floors throughout. Huge white columns with ornately decorated carvings are placed down the halls and at the entrance of the grand wide stairs ascending to the 4 floors up from ground level while another floor remains 25 ft. below ground. All rooms have windows for natural lighting. 3000 lb chandeliers made from copper hang from the ceilings. Heavily carved wood work stained a walnut color surround the doors and windows. The halls are decorated with pictures of Texas's history.
The four floor rotunda has large oil paintings of all the governors that start with the newest ones at ground level and spiral upward on the walls to the oldest state leaders.
We were taken into the Senate chambers where the past Senators of Texas are depicted in oil paintings around the room. Our guide gave us a detailed account of filibustering whose record is held by some of the past Senators and the rules they had to follow to keep from getting disqualified while holding the floor.
|THE CEILING OF THE SENATE CHAMBERS|
|Seating for the Senators|
I wandered alone from floor to floor shooting some photos of the interior and occasionally a couple would approach me with their cameras and ask if I would use it to take a couples shot of them.
|And of course, what would Texas be without it's YEEHAW boots!|
I drove around the city for a while and was surprised by this city's topography. I had no idea it would be a city comprised of hills and valleys. If not for the lack of cable cars, I would have sworn at times, that I was in San Francisco. Long inclines, tightly curved streets and a web like network of overpasses made for some challenging driving. If not for the GPS I would probably still be circling Austin.
I'm happy I came to see this city. As usual, Texas offers up plenty of sites to visit.
I've dialed in the directions back to the hotel and since I'm lost some where on I-35, I'll need that GPS to get back to I-10.
I'll upload some pictures to this blog when I get back to my room.
and the trip back....
The trip back was a GPS guided tour. I let it select the routes back and I think I traveled over every cow path in this part of the country. Some of the roads were dirt or gravel and as I roared down them, I left a plume of dust that enveloped the car. Winding and twisting and raising up to drop down on the other side, the road provided an exciting ride and some times a tingle of fear when the road would suddenly twist away leaving me to crank the steering wheel at the last moment to make the turn. It provided more fun then taking the interstate back. I listened to everything from Willie Nelson, to the The Eagles and Hank Williams, Jr. and a list too numerous to mention. No opera or classical music, some jazz and some blues.
I would see something beside the road and pull over, get a shot and move on.
Here..take a look..
|Note the tin roofing used as siding on this building.|
|Stacks and stacks of wood bundled|
|This Spells "summer"|