Our aim was to drive from Las Vegas to Flagstaff, which would give great access to the Grand Canyon. However, after we saw a place on the map called “London Bridge”, who wouldn’t stop?! Well, maybe someone who wanted to get to Flagstaff before midnight, but we were not that person.
London Bridge, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was one of the most bizarre places we’ve ever been. Obviously we’ve been to the “proper” London Bridge – the one that’s in London. Who knew that there was another real London Bridge in the middle of the desert in Arizona?
Apparently London used to have a smaller London Bridge, but when cars were invented and what not, they wanted a bigger bridge, so, they, um, built one. Meanwhile, some Americans bought the old bridge, took it to America (not in one piece – I imagine it wouldn’t fit on the plane) and re-built it. A plaque explains better than I can:- “London Bridge was purchased from the city of London on April 18 1968 for $2,460,000.00. It took three years and another $4,500,000.00 to transport and build the bridge. The Grand Opening took place October 10 1971”. It was surreal to see the vintage British lampposts set against an American backdrop of deserts.
A small area between the car park and the bridge contained a red British telephone box, and a statue of a dragon, with a plaque announcing the the boundary of “London Land”. There was also a black and white tudor-style building, which I suspect was fashioned upon Shakespeare’s Globe. We were surprised, to say the least, to see this stuff in the middle of Arizona next to the speedboats and jet skis on the water.
After that disorientating experience we got on with what we were supposed to be doing… driving to Flagstaff, Arizona. However, before long we once again got distracted – we spotted Route 66 on the map and decided to follow it and drive the scenic way to Flagstaff. This was fun and we congratulated ourselves on our genius – we were cruisin’ down Route 66!! The only thing cooler is cruisin’ with the top down, but we couldn’t do that without causing irreparable damage to the car.
However our very excellent plan was cut short by a natural occurrence we had overlooked. It got dark! So I’ve got to say… the view from Route 66 wasn’t quite as good as we were expecting 😉 But at least we tried, and we saw the parts that we got to before it got dark, so that still counts, right?! 🙂
Upon arriving in Flagstaff we headed straight to bed to get some sleep before our Grand Canyon trip the next morning… which was not to be!
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