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Indianapolis Day 2: Horsey Power!

Wednesday was my short, class day where I finished around noon so Mike and I had the whole afternoon together to explore what Indy has to offer. He originally wanted to visit the Indy Raceway but it was unfortunately closed that week. Instead, we decided to visit the Dallara IndyCar factory.


Dallara is located about five miles outside of town in Speedway, Indiana. It's only about 1/3 mile from the Raceway itself.


Our visit began with a movie about the history of Dallara, where we learned that the company was founded by Gian Paolo Dallara over 40 years ago in a small town outside of Parma, Italy. Dallara has been building and designing race cars worldwide ever since. The Speedway factory opened in July 2012 and Dallara now exclusively supplies all of the Indy cars qualified to race in the Indy Car series. After the movie, we took a tour of the incredibly spotless factory (no photos allowed) where we were shown step-by-step how they build each Indy car by hand. Each tub, which holds the driver for whom it is specially designed, is manufactured from carbon fiber as one piece. On top of the driver's tub are the primary components of the forward suspension.


Below is the left front wheel of an Indy car. These components allow the driver to adjust the angle and pitch of the wheels during a race without having to make a pit stop for adjustments.


The museum houses several legacy cars used in previous events.



The visit ended with personal rides in a street-legal, two-seater Indy car driven by our tour guide. Although I'm sure it's nothing like being on a regular track, we did end up taking turns on a dime and getting up to speeds of 100 mph on the straight-a-ways.






After a couple of hours at Dallara, we took a taxi back to our hotel then walked down Meridian Street to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at Monument Circle.


The Monument was built in 1902 as a memorial to the Hoosiers who had fought in all the wars as of that date. The monument stands 284 1/2 feet high, just 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty.



There are four statues on each corner of the monument representing the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, and the Navy. Below is a sailor from the Navy (Mike's branch).


The ground floor is a gift shop and for a small fee, you can ride an elevator to the observation deck at the top (or for free you can climb 331 stairs).

Looking south down Meridian Street towards our hotel:


The Indiana State Capitol building:


The Indiana War Memorial:


Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Indianapolis Colts play:


Going down the narrow stairwell, 31 steps to the elevator.


We were a little thirsty by now so we stopped off at Rock Bottom Brewery for a quick drink. It was going to be quite a walk to dinner. On the way, we passed by Veterans' Memorial Plaza.


We also passed by the Indiana War Memorial, which we had seen from the top of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.



After walking through a somewhat sketchy part of town, we finally made it to our dinner destination, The Rathskeller, a German restaurant and beer garden. I ordered the schnitzel.


Mike ordered the Mixed Wurst Plate, an assortment of sausages including bratwurst, kielbasa, bockwurst, and a beer-steamed German sausage.


When dinner was done, we headed upstairs to the beer garden to enjoy some local music by Jeremy Vogt.





The band was an acoustic, classic rock-type band and they were pretty good. We stayed until they played their last song. Even though it was dark and late, we decided to walk back to our hotel rather than take a taxi. Although this time, we avoided the sketchy area. We did come upon a strange, dancing lady on a dark street corner.





Still wondering what the hell that was all about, we made it back to our hotel and called it a night.

Posted by zihuatcat 21:51 Archived in USA

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