Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 20 - Mackinac Island

We took a fair amount of photographs today, therefore we have broken down our happy snaps into three parts: Mackinac Island, location sites of the film "Somewhere in Time", and the Grand Hotel. So... for the first installment  - MACKINAC ISLAND:

On the way to Mackinac Island from Mackinaw City, sailing under the Mackinaw Bridge - this photo shows half the length of this massive bridge

The Main Street on Mackinac Island - no cars or motorised vehicles are allowed (except for the emergency ambulance). There are four modes of transport: horse, horse & cart, bicycle and shank's pony

The Grand Hotel taxi vehicle on Mackinac Island

Another view of Mackinac Island Main Street - full of tourist shops, fudge stores and all things Mackinac Island wise

Main Street, Mackinac Island - Fort Mackinac is in the background. Once a British stronghold before the American Revolutionary War

Our hotel along Main Street, Mackinac Island - Hotel Iroquois

We have a room on the third floor about centre - Hotel Iroquois, Mackinac Island

One of the many beautiful houses on Mackinac Island

Arch Rock, about two miles from the Main Ferry terminals on Mackinac Island

A push bike rider came to grief here. One of the few motorised vehicles (the ambulance) tending a middle aged woman. Eventually she was placed on a stretcher and taken to the Medical Centre. There are thousands of push bikes in use on  the island and accidents are common

Our Starline Ferry showing off its "rooster tail" backwash. Coming into the Mackinac Island Terminal

The 1780 cottage on display, Mackinac Island


The Round Island Lighthouse - scene where Christopher Reeves was rowing a small boat whilst playing Rachmaninoff's famous tune 

Plaque on the actual location where they did this scene

As above - on the western side of the island

The long porch at the Grand Hotel where Christopher Reeves slept

The actual photo of Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour) located in the Grand Hotel

The breakfast scene in the Grand Hotel grounds

The Jane Seymour walked around the pathway in the background to meet Richard. In the Grand Hotel grounds

Another photo of the Round Island Lighthouse


The entrance to the Grand Hotel

The dining room in the Grand Hotel - the servery is over 100 feet long!

Another view of the main dining room, Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel Ballroom - there is actually a ballroom event tonight

Neil sitting on a rocker chair in the longest porch in the world - Grand Hotel 

Looking from one end - the Grand Hotel's longest porch in the world

The hotel looking from the front grounds

Another view of the hotel from the entrance

The story about the hotel

Our departure from the hotel

Today was one of the highlights of our holiday. We made certain that Ralph is parked safely at the Mackinaw City Hotel and then arranged our shuttle to the Starline Ferry. The 9 am ferry left Mackinaw City and made a special journey under that long bridge that separates St Ignace and Mackinaw City. The ferry has a distinctive water spray that the locals call the “rooster tail”. We arrived on Mackinac Island at 9:30 am and entered a different world. To understand this place one must understand the rules. Firstly no motorized vehicles are allowed (except for emergency fire trucks and ambulances) all transport is either by horse and cart, horse, push bike or walk. The island isn’t that big and it is possible to walk around within the daylight hours. The main street has all the trappings of horse manure and it can take a while to acclimatize to the equine smells and sounds. Nevertheless, the place is clean has a military history since the 18th century. It thrived on the fur trade back then and was an important staging point for the American Revolutionary War. Nowadays it thrives on tourism and fudge. When we arrived we checked out the Main Street and then arranged a tandem bike ride. Anne was at the back and made some effort to share the burden to pedal. It was great fun dodging horse “land mines” and pedestrians. We did find Arch Rock and the famous spot where Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour met in the film Somewhere in Time. It was about that point we witnessed the medical vehicle tending to a lady who had succumbed to a restive push bike. The para-medics put her on a stretcher and gave her a rare experience in riding a motorized vehicle on the island. We had tickets to attend a luncheon at the famous Grand Hotel. The tables boasts a 100 feet long choice of foods. We did indulge in a fair amount of fine foods during this occasion. After we wandered around the hotel and experienced the world’s longest porch – about 600 feet long. At the hotel the reception staff offered us to return tonight for a ballroom dance event starting at 9:30 pm. So….to enable entry Neil needed a coat and tie and Anne needed to wear her best finery. Since we left our main clothes with Ralph we had to look for fashion stores on the island for tonight to purchase those additional items required. Fortunately the hotel supplies a coat for gentlemen who attend so that was taken care of. We had a light dinner and ventured to the Grand Hotel at 9 pm (it was still daylight at this time) and experienced dancing in the Grand Hotel – it was free! We spent about two hours amongst the rich and anybody who can pay the $700 minimum a night at the Grand and then walked back to our Hotel Iroquois. Our hotel has a splendid view of the waterfront and d├ęcor’ed out in luxurious style - about half the tariff of the minimum Grand Hotel rate. What a great experience we enjoyed today. Tomorrow we have a horse & cart tour of the island and return to the mainland at Mackinaw City. Cheers. 

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