Illinois is bigger than I’d imagined with the bus ride from one end to the other, St Louis to Chicago, taking seven hours. There was some good knowledge learned today that would stand me in good stead in about a week’s time. I’ll mention when I come to that blog entry but involves passing through Springfield, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, as they seem keen to point out here with all sorts of references from local businesses

I was visiting Chicago for similar reasons as San Francisco. Although I’ve already visited in the past, it’s a world-class city with an almost limitless amount of things to see and do. Also I had a ticket for the Pearl Jam concert tomorrow night which I was somewhat excited about.

Usually I prefer smaller hostels. They tend to be a bit friendlier and have a more personal feel. However despite this one being huge, it was still very good. HI Chicago has 500 beds. I actually looked up what the largest hostel in world is and there’s one in Berlin with a capacity of over 1000. Anyhow this one is in a nice building, it’s clean and well organised, has a very good breakfast and even provides two pillows, a hostel first for me! There’s also loads of organised activities. I’d have fancied the blues club outing tonight but it left just after I checked in. The hostel is located within the Loop area, which is the epicentre for the elevated trains in central Chicago. While this means that public transport is very convenient it’s also a bit of a pain in the arse when trains pass yards from the bedroom window all night.

In the Loop, literally
Trains passing the hostel window