It was Thanksgiving morning.
On our own in our Detroit Hotel room, we didn’t have anywhere to be until early afternoon.
It felt a bit odd, not rushing off to a family members house, to begin the day of eating. I felt a bit lost. What was there to do?
Explore Belle Isle of Course!
Down the interstate, we made our way through downtown, navigating around the parade, then across the bridge to a small Island in the Detroit river between Michigan and Canada by the name of Belle Isle.
Belle Isle was originally referred to as “Hog Island” due to the wild livestock that ran free on the island. However in 1845 the island was turned into an elegant and sprawling park. Many people worked on designing the park, including Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in NYC. Some of my distant ancestors, the Campaus, also helped to design and build the park!
The little island holds walking trails, a greenhouse, an aquarium, an old lighthouse, and a lot of seemingly abandoned buildings.
But on this frigid Thanksgiving morning, the entire island seemed abandoned.
Forgotten by time.
These old run down buildings were part of a zoo that closed down many years ago,
Belle Isle held so many interesting places to explore. We ended up spending a few hours there wandering around, when I only expected to drive in a short loop and then leave.
I think Belle Isle is not actually as desolate as it appeared on this day. I hope to go back and visit in the summertime to see how it comes to life.