Monday, January 20, 2014

New Years in Minnesota- The Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes

During my time in Iowa, we decided to spend New Years in Minneapolis with some friends. And so we set off on a road trip north to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. 

Our friend lived in Minneapolis, in an apartment with beautiful views overlooking the city. Famous for it's theaters, museums and art galleries, Minneapolis is a real cultural hub in North America. It was also once the flour milling capital of the world and this heritage is still evident in the city today with many old mills and warehouses along the waterfront. 

We spent the first day at the Mall of America. This shopping mall is the largest in the United States and is like nothing I had ever seen before. Complete with a wedding chapel, in door amusement park (and I don't just mean a couple of fair ground rides) and Minnesota's largest aquarium. Somewhat overwhelming in size, the Mall of America does make for a fantastic day out as it is so much more than just a mall. We spent the day on the rides at the Nickelodeon Universe, perusing the shops and eating in the restaurants. In the winter months this place is the perfect way to spend the day shielded from the arctic snows and winds.   

The Mall has everything to keep literally everyone entertained. With shows for the kids and regular concerts, the mall is where people come to spend their free time.

One of Minnesota's 11,842 lakes. In the winter months they are a hive of activity with children playing, ice skaters and hockey players. The word Minnesota derives from a Dakota (Native American) word meaning "sky tinted water".

The Sculpture Garden- 11 acres of contemporary art with 40 permanent art installations including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain (above).

New Years in Minneapolis was so much fun, in a city so completely adapted to the harsh winters (the temperature fell as low as -33 Celsius when I was there!) nights out are well thought through affairs with taxis, skyways and well heated bars making the night enjoyable despite the freezing conditions outside. 

The morning after the night before, I was assured a Bloody Mary to kick start the day at brunch was local tradition. I'm not sure how true that was but I was happy to go along with it!