Denver, forget me not!
Fond memories from the trip to Denver, Colorado one month ago still linger in my mind. To me, it was a great experience to be part of the Denver Fulbright Enrichment Seminar, which gathered nearly 140 Fulbright scholars from 77 countries. When I was there, I had a proper understanding of the word “enrichment.” The only thing I regretted was that I didn’t have enough time to explore Denver as much as I wanted. I promised myself that I would revisit this world-class city some day.
The first day: Denver International Airport-Curtis Hotel-Colorado State House-Federal Reserve Bank Branch
I don’t know when I was unscared of being on plane any more and began to like taking photos from the plane. I took this picture when the United plane was reducing the airspeed and altitude for a beautiful landing. My Vietnamese fellow and I arrived in the Denver International Airport at 10:30 a.m. after a nearly 5-hour flight from the Logan International Airport in Boston. At the Logan Airport, I spent $25 to learn a lesson: Never have a carry-on checked for a domestic flight. It was the first time, I had a domestic flight. My Vietnamese friend laughed a lot when knowing that I was charged $25 for my carry-on.
The Denver International Airport seen afar.
At the airport, we met our Vietnamese fellow and one Fulbrighter, both from Washington D.C. From the airport, a shuttle bus took us to the Cortis Hotel in downtown Denver. When I was on the bus, I was glad to know that other passengers were all Fulbrighters.
All of us stayed in Curtis Hotel during the seminar. The hotel sits close to Denver Performing Arts Center, United States Mint and Denver Art Museum.
Denver Performing Arts Center is located just a few steps from Curtis Hotel.
After a short rest at the hotel, many of us went to the Colorado State Capitol Building. Accompanying us were Mark Howard, the Fulbright program’s representative and many Fulbright alumni.
The Colorado State Capitol Building is home to the Colorado General Assembly, the offices of the Governor of Colorado and Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. The building, which faces the Denver City Hall, is intentionally reminiscent of the United States Capitol. It was constructed in the 1890s from Colorado white granite, and opened for use in November 1894. The distinctive gold dome consists of real gold plate, first added in 1908, commemorating the Colorado Gold Rush.
The picturesque interior of the historic building, which was constructed mostly in marble and granite, impressed me, making me feel that I was in a palace.
Many parts of the wall depict people and events related to the history of Colorado. The halls are decorated with portraits of every governor of Colorado.
The grand staircase, from the basement to the second floor in the middle of the rotunda, consists of 77 marble steps and 176 brass balustrades that have been embellished with stylized oak and olive leaves and acorns.
No word can fully describe the interior beauty of the Colorado Capitol Building. This is the floor where the Senate and the House of Representatives are located.
The Colorado Capitol Building also houses the Old Supreme Court. The most important court and judges in Colorado used this room for eighty-five years before a new building was constructed in 1977.
Denver City Hall (seen from the Colorado Capitol Building).
A corner of Denver near the Colorado Capitol Building.
The Welcoming Diner was held at the Federal Reserve Bank Branch, which is situated near Curtis Hotel.
With fellow Fulbrighters from Indonesia and Pakistan.
Three of us are all from Vietnam. I am from the Mekong Delta (the South) while my fellows are from Hanoi (the capital of Vietnam in the North).
Almost every one wondered if all the cash inside is real or fake. I thought they are fake.
At first, I didn’t know what people were doing. They were making money bills. At last, I could make my own bill thanks to my Vietnamese fellow’s guidance.
With fellow Fulbrighters from Bulgaria (the fellow sitting next to me), Finland, Australia, Thailand, Russia, Burkina Faso and Colombia (the fellow standing behind me.)
The Welcoming Dinner had the presence of the Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock.
The Federal Reserve Bank Branch sponsored the Welcoming Dinner. That was why the dinner was held there.
(to be continued)
(One month after the trip to Denver)
[The past doesn’t determine the future. Your future is determined by what you do today]