By Sharron Livingston
St Paul is the capital of the sprawling, vibrant metropolis of Minnesota where 11 miles of sky walkways allow locals to get around in cold weather.
Though it’s snowing it seems plain wrong not to explore especially as I am standing at the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole. So snubbing the sky walkways I make my way to the sculpture garden to browse around its 40 incredible artworks – the most famous is Klaus Van Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge with Cherry looking impressive as snowflakes begin to settle on the cherry.
Around Summit Avenue Victorian mansions have been preserved and the city’s cathedral is modelled on London St Paul’s Cathedral. It is also famously the birthplace of F. John Fitzgerald who penned The Great Gatsby. Dinner that night was at Fitzgerald restaurant on Cathedral Hill. They say the great author’s tipple was gin and so that night, it was mine too.
It’s a 30-minute drive to Paisley Park, Prince’s living and working space. It’s a massive complex treated by staff as sacred while visitors are treated as pilgrims. Prince’s ashes are in the rafters of the hall and are revered. We bow our heads for a moment’s silence. Turns out that Prince was both philanthropic and deeply spiritual as well as being a talented rock star.
The last stop is the is the Mall of America on E Broadway, Bloomington whose three levels are packed with 525 shops around a huge theme park. Best of all it is tax free shopping.