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Motor Coach Tour 2011
Monday, May 30th

Salt Lake City, Utah
Day 1

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. The first thing after breakfast this morning was the departure of those continuing on with what was known as Globus tour AP or APQ520 (depending on where you started from). Mine was ANQ520 because it ended in Salt Lake. The itinerary for these people included Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon and finally Las Vegas arriving there on Thursday. Here are a couple of pictures taken just before they left.

Coach ready to leave Group Ready to Leave
The coach waiting to leave. It had been washed and some mechanical issues dealt with at its home base here in Salt Lake. The group ready to leave. Tour Director Jack in the front right seat is probably blind as I had to use the flash several times to get this.

Coach Driver Lee Ready to Leave

Driver Lee.

After they departed I started looking around the immediate area to see what was there before going to Temple Square. It was rather quiet because of it being Memorial Day Monday. Here are some pictures around the area.

Street in front of Hotel Hotel 1
Looking up West South Temple St..
It was rather empty due to the Memorial Day holiday.
The Radisson Hotel Downtown Salt Lake where I was staying.
Convention Centre 1 Convention Centre 2
Behind the hotel was the Salt Lake Convention Centre. The official name of this is the "Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center" which is on the sign in the middle.

Convention Centre 3

One of the entrances. If you did not believe the name above, you may be able to read it here.

This part of Salt Lake is not the most photogenic place so I did not take that many pictures. For the next while I will concentrate on Temple Square and the Conference Centre just across the street from it. Then I will take a short break and come back to Temple Square, the Temple part of which is rather impressively lit up at night.

We will start with the model of the Temple located in the North Visitors Centre. Since only church members are allowed in the Temple and then only for certain sacred services and events the model shows visitors what the Temple is like inside. The Temple was built starting on April 6th, 1853 and completed on April 6th, 1893. The walls are made of granite and are very thick at the bottom and thin out as it goes up higher. There is a video display that cannot be seen in these pictures that allows you to select a room and then shows you a short video of each area that explains what those areas are used for.

Temple Model 1 Temple model 1 cropped
Temple Model 2 Temple Model 3

After visiting the Visitor Centre I had a look at The Assembly Hall just across from the Visitor Centre's entrance. Here are some outside and inside pictures of that. There is not much to be said about this building so I have not captioned this pictures.

Assembly Hall Outside 2 Assembly Hall Outside 1
Assembly Hall Outside 3 Sign Assembly Hall Inside 1
Assembly Hall Inside 2 Assembly Hall Inside 3
Assembly Hall Inside 4 Assembly Hall Inside 5

The next stop was the rather impressive Conference Centre. The Conference Center was built in 2000. It was built because the Tabernacle's seating (2500) had gotten too small for some of the meetings the church wanted to have.

I actually did this in two different visits. On the first one I took the free tour and the second was for a half hour long free Organ Recital a couple of hours later. I have combined these two visits into one for the sake of continuity here and this will explain why the lighting is different in some of the pictures. I will start with the pictures taken during the tour and then go to the ones taken around (but not during) the recital.

Conference centre Exterior 1 Conference Centre Inside 1
Outside from a short distance down the street. It is not possible to get a picture of it from any closer than this. The inside of the main auditorium. The little blue speck down by the stage area is me in my blue jacket.
CC Inside 2 High CC Inside 3 High
A view from the highest seating level at the back of the second balcony. A closer view from the same place.
CC Inside 4 High CC Inside 6 High
Here is the view along the back aisle of the second balcony looking left. Same view as previous only looking right.
CC Inside 7 Skylight CC Inside 8 High Fountain
A skylight above the fountain in the next picture. Below the skylight. I think there is some significance to this but I do not remember what it is.

As part of the tour you get to go up on the somewhat unusual roof of the Conference Centre. Apparently it is used during church events for various spiritual type functions.

CC Roof 1 CC Roof 2
Believe it or not this is the roof of the Conference Centre. This fountain is over the middle of the large auditorium below. Another view of the fountain. This fountain is the source of the waterfall on the front of the building.
CC Roof 3 CC Roof 4
It is like a park up there except that they do not want people to walk on this grass. It is one of those environmentally friendly roofs. Heading back to the elevator that gets one up there. You can see the Temple straight ahead and slightly right.

Here is a panorama made up of four images taken from the roof of the Conference Centre.

Temple Square from CC Roof Panorama

This is Temple Square from the roof of the Conference Centre. Here are a few buildings of importance going from left to right.
The Church Office Building is the tall one, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building,
The Temple, the silver domed Tabernacle, and the North Visitors Centre on this side of the Tabernacle.
The next two buildings on the right are hotels with the dark one on the far right being the Radisson I was staying in.
The buildings behind Temple Square are probably something called the City Creek Development
which is a mixed use residential/office development scheduled to open in 2012.

After going back to Temple Square briefly I returned back to the Conference for an Organ Recital which put the main auditorium in a bit of a different light.

It looks a bit different with some lights on. The view from where I decided to sit for the recital.
A view to the left from where I sat.... and to the right.
There is some natural light that comes down through those openings in the ceiling. That is why it looks green. Most of the stage area lights are on. Taken after the recital.
CC PM 10 Far Left CC PM 10 Centre Left
This next group of four pictures shows what you see when you look out from the stage area. This is left. This is centre left.
CC PN 10 Centre Right CC PM 10 Far Right
This is centre right. And this is far right.
This place is so big they need hi-definition TV to help out. This is the widest view I could get.
CC PM 13 Fountain

At this point you are probably wondering how many people can be seated in this large auditorium. Before I tell you here is an interesting fact. This building is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest building in the would with forward facing seating. There are many other buildings such as arenas that have as many seats but the seats do not face forward in auditorium style like these do.

Ok, here is the number.


Yep, that is right, this auditorium has 21,000 seats. And think that they only use it a few times a year for church meetings, Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts, and summer church services.
I will say this, they wanted big, boy did they get "BIG".

A close up of the fountain at the bottom of the skylight in the pictures from the tour above. The picture below gives you a bit of an idea of the sizes involved here. The organist is introducing his recital by the organ console in the centre of the stage area.

CC PM Organist Large

Between the two visits to the Conference Centre I made a stop at the Tabernacle where there had been an organ recital while I was across the road, much to my chagrin. They do put on a show here even for a half hour long organ recital. Here is how that looked.

Tabernacle Inside 1 Tabernacle Inside 2

One other thing that you see near Temple Square is on the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It is this.....

Beehive 1

This is a Beehive which is the Utah State Emblem. It symbolizes industry which is the state motto.

After all this I took a break from temple and head down towards what I had been told was a shopping centre built around an old railway station. Here are a few pictures taken around this area.

Capitol 1

On the way to the shopping mall I saw this and took it.
It is the State Capitol building between two apartment buildings and just above the rear of the Conference Centre.

Shapping Mall 1 Shopping Mall 2
Salt Lake's old Union Pacific train station. It has an impressive inside.
Shopping Mall 3 Shopping Mall 4
I would imagine it is used for meetings or shows of some type now. When you go out the back door you see this.
Shopping Mall 5 Shopping Mall 6
This store attracted my attention. It is called "Build-a-Bear Workshop. Inside they had all kinds of teddy type bears without any filling in them. You bought the ones you wanted and they blew foam stuffing into them. I think you could take in home made ones and they would fill them for you as they had the parts to make bears as well. This is taken from across the open area looking back at the former Union Pacific station. The cars and other vehicles entered about a large block to the right and drove through. I think there was an exit on the other end but I did not see it.

After all this activity I returned to the hotel, which was roughly half way between the mall and Temple Square and had a rest. The weather had been improving all day and was now not to bad and much warmer than I had experienced during most of the tour. Here is a picture taken from my hotel room window which was just above the roof of the convention centre.

Window View 1

I had heard and seen photos that indicated that Temple Square, primarily the Temple, was lit up at night. As you can see from the picture above, which was taken at 8:15PM, the weather had continued to clear and it was warming up rapidly. I decided to take the two block (well almost three to the Temple) and have a look. It may be interesting to note here that city blocks in this part of Salt Lake are quite long and the streets are quite wide. This is because Brigham Young wanted lots of room for wagons and horses. I was there long before the sun set and took a whole series of pictures of the Temple lit up as the sky got darker. I will not make you suffer through the whole series, as there are quite a few, but here are some of the ones I like the best.

Temple Square Night 2 Temple Square Night 4

This looks generally west with the sun setting slightly to the the right.
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is on the left.

Slightly different exposure.
Temple Night 4 Temple Night 5
Exposure is the same but the composition is different. Taken from closer.
Temple Night 6 Temple Night 7
Slightly different composition. A partial reflection in the small pool of water in front.
Temple Night 8 Temple Night 9
I walked around to the northwest I think for these next two. A closer view from a slightly different spot.
Temple Night 12 Temple Night 14
This one is from the southwest, I think. Almost directly from the south
Tabernacle Night 1 Tabernacle Inside Night
The Tabernacle. The inside of the Tabernacle through a window.
Assembly Hall Night Beehive at Night
Assembly House at night. The State motto at night.

Here are several other pictures taken this evening.

CC at Night Capitol ofer Conference Centre
The conference centre is not that well lit at night. The State capitol building over the back of the Conference Centre.
Capitol Building at Night Shopping Mall Night
A closer view of the State Capitol Dome. The old Union Pacific station at night.

Almost all the night pictures were taken between 9:30 and 10:00PM. Temple Square closes at 10:00. The Union Station picture was taken at 10:15PM on the way back to the hotel.

As you can imagine this concludes this day. Tomorrow is the last day in Salt Lake and turned out to be a really nice weather day as well.

On to May 31st......

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Created: August 20th and 21st, 2011
Last Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:13 PM