After a leisurely breakfast with Hilda and Gerhard, we pack and head on to Cathy and Dave’s. We arrive midafternoon, toss in our bags, have a quick drink, and immediately head off to the underground tunnel beneath the Detroit River that takes us from Windsor, on the Canadian side, to Detroit, on the US side. And so begins a tour of parts of Detroit. The Mariners Cathedral, where the bell tolled 21 times for the death of the men on the Edmund Fitzgerald (made famous by Gordon Lightfoot’s song) is just outside the tunnel on the US side. Cathy lives in Windsor but works in Detroit at the University there so is well versed in all sights on the Detroit side. Wayne State University has buildings spread out throughout the center of the city. We do a short drive around the centre of the city.
Some of the history is so apparent even in the architecture. Beautiful buildings, both houses and commercial buildings speak of a very affluent time. But there are huge empty lots where buildings have fallen into disrepair and infill condos, that speak of better times, now sit. One set of four large mansions have been renovated to make into a boutique hotel, but not before they had sat empty for many years, their roofs fallen in and in disrepair. The downtown has many sports venues within blocks of each other (the Ford Centre for the Lions [NFL], the Tigers Stadium [Major League Baseball], former Joe Lewis Arena, now Little Cesars, for the Detroit Red Wings [NHL]and a venue for the Pistons [NBA]). We go for cocktails at one place and then on to another place for a tapas style dinner. It is very fancy and so fun to be toured and hosted by a person who knows the city so well.