The weather made us do it, freezing temperatures and snowstorms in September. We had expected to be hiking in Waterton Lakes National Park and its American neighbour Glacier National Park just about now.
Instead we’re in Utah, about 500km further south than we’d any intention of going. Why Salt Lake City in particular, because its weather forecast had no snow and no freezing temperatures.
Well as the saying goes, when in Rome… We visited the sites of Salt Lake City. It was founded in 1847 by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. This is the site of their world headquarters and of their first Temple. Mormons have much influence in Utah state and were instrumental in its statehood in 1896.
We visited Temple Square a beautifully landscaped area at the core of the city that encompasses the Temple,
a chapel, the Tabernacle concert hall, a massive conference centre and two visitor information centres that nearly qualify as museums. Outdoors, everywhere you look there are magnificent flowerbeds and massive leafy trees. The information centres and the grounds are staffed by young Mormons who cheerfully welcome you, give tours, and answer questions.
On Sunday morning we gathered along with about 6,000 other people (about 80% of them tourists) to hear the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the building called the Tabernacle. The choir counts more than 300 voices and is accompanied by a symphony orchestra of 130.
The Sunday morning concert has been broadcast live from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City for 90 years. The concert is only 30 minutes long but how delightful to hear them sing live.