The Highway Alternative to Route 66 and other Driving in the US

As most people already know, the legendary Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles does not exist in full anymore, but there are many other roads that can be driven between the two cities. Last weekend I took the quickest alternative, a straight 40 hour long drive where I got to see the landscape shift several times between snowy mountains, green fields and sandy deserts. Even the deserts were not the same, shifting between red and dark and light brown. 

The US is perfect for those who like to travel with car. It is a country built for driving, where you can find drive-in-shops, drive-in-banks, drive-in-restaurants, drive-in-cinemas and drive-in churches where you do not even have to go out of your limousine to get married. The roads are also wide. Even in middle of Nevada dessert there were two lanes going each way, and in bigger cities like Los Angeles there roads had seven, yes seven lanes. There are also signs showing all you need to know on the roads, but some of the traffic laws are a little bit different from the traffic laws in Europe: it is allowed to drive right on red light if it is ready, in most states you are allowed to drive past other cars in the right lane (not only in the left) and in the biggest cities they have lanes for “carpooling” where only cars with two or more people are allowed to use.

The gas prices in the US are also ridiculously cheap compared to gas prices in Europe. The prices differ from state to state, but the most expensive gas we filled along the way was between Las Vegas and Los Angeles where the price was four dollars for a gallon, which means that a liter of gas would not cost more than a dollar. After putting almost 5000 miles behind us we knew that we would have to do some maintenance of the car, and for a full service in Colorado they did not charge more than 60dollars for a full service, including brake fluid and oil change. As long as you fill the car seats, roadtripping is the cheapest way to travel in the US and it will give you a lot greater flexibility compared to flying going by buses and trains. 

Spring Break in Panama City

Spending just one semester in the US, me and a few other exchange students had to suck in all the cultural experiences we could get while we were there. That is why we decided to spend our holidays in Panama City, Florida, which is the place where most American Students spend their Spring Break.

The days here were spent on beach, driving around on rented scooters, playing golf and going out in the evenings. It were some great days.

New York: the city that never sleeps

Because my connecting flight in New York was full, I got the chance to stay over a night in one of Worlds most awesome cities, and receive flight credit, food and a hotel at the same time.

I then called up one of my friends living in the city, who drove me around the whole city, visiting clubs, shops and restaurants until the next morning when my flight went.

Even though I have been several times in New York before, I had never experienced the city this way. New York must be one out of a few cities where you can go shopping for shoes at 5 o´clock in the morning, so it was the perfect city to have an involuntary stopover for a night.

Being a tourist in Washington DC

Washington DC
On my flight to Washington DC I looked up the city in my book “Turen går til USA”, and was really fascinated about some of the information the book gave me: Washington DC has been the capitol of the United States since 1790 as the politicians decided to “cut out” 100 square miles by Potomac River, which is the border between north and south. The capitol city was named after the first president of the US George Washington, and was supposed to become a modern city, with architecture drawn by the French2010-04-28 16.06.06 architect Pierre L’Enfant. Today, the city stay the same as it was in the 18th century, with famous buildings as the monument, capitol building and the White House.

Almost everyone walking around by The Mall (the area between the monument and Capitol Building) for the first time will have a feeling of being there before. There are so many places famous places that have been shown in numerous movies and TV-shows, making them easily recognizable for any tourist walking around in the city. When walking there nine years after my family made a house exchange for one month in 2001, all the things that I did, said and thought while I was there, came to my mind again. Staying at Hi-Hostel Washington DC in the city center, I had great opportunity of seeing the White House, the Capitol Building, the Reflection Pool and Chinatown, as well as several of the free museums of the Smithsonian Institute. Two days was enough for me to see most of the city, and get a new passport at the Royal Norwegian Embassy.