09 October 2014

Across the U.S., Day 3 - Salt Lake City (UT)

To take a rest from driving and to be at least a bit environmentally responsible on this journey, I took the hotel shuttle to the airport and then public transportation to Salt Lake City downtown. I have heard a lot about how neat this city is and can definitely confirm it. With streets "wide enough for a team of four oxen and a covered wagon to turn around", yee-ha!

I spent most of the morning in Temple Square, talking to several of the Mormon missionaries about their religion, society structure and the role women (are allowed to) play. The missionaries call themselves elders and sisters. Apparently, a man can only be an elder from age 18-28, while a woman can serve as a sister from age 19 on without any age limits. Because Mormons consider their body as a temple and should foster a healthy lifestyle (no alcohol/smoking), one of the elders mentioned data about Mormons having less health issues than other groups. This would be interesting to check out further. He also mentioned however, that many have issues with prescription drug abuse instead, as taking such drugs is considered ok - no matter of the amount.

Salt Lake Temple,
40-year period of construction which began in 1853.

Entrance is only allowed to church members.

The temple is mainly used for weddings and baptisms. There were bridal couples all over the place, lining up for the most photogenic spots.

At the Salt Lake City visitor center I had an interesting chat with one of the employees, a former sociologist, about behavioral changes and one of his research projects which helped people quit smoking. Of course we also talked about people's food choices and how to impact this. We exchanged email addresses, so he can send me some more info on his projects.

I came by this gentleman
on my way to the library.

I look like a tourist.
Why shouldn't I behave like one? :-)

One side note to Ingrid: the City Creek Center you mentioned is really nice, just two years old and beautifully done with the water symbolizing the river that once ran through the area. 

More to come.

Bye-bye Beehive State.