When I came to Pittsburgh everybody's first question was: "How did you arrive? Did you come through Fort Pitt Tunnel?"
I just smiled and said: "Oh yes."
It is hard to describe to somebody who never was there why this is so special, but let me try:
I would call it the most spectacular entrance to a city I have ever seen.
The thing is that the airport in Pittsburgh is quite far outside the city in the countryside and the drive towards downtown is ... let's call it unspectacular. And just when you think "Where the hell is this Pittsburgh? There are not even suburbs along this road." you see the sign "FORT PITT TUNNEL" ... it sucks you in and after a couple of seconds you see some light and then the tunnel spits you out like BOOM!
One second - boring countryside.
Some more seconds - tunnel darkness.
Next second - you are out on Fort Pitt Bridge, around you a lot more yellow steel bridges, lots of water (three rivers), lots of light (if the weather is not a total disaster ... like too often in PGH), a huge skyline. If you are not frozen like I was and manage to look around quickly enough you can see Heinz Field, too.
Coming out of Fort Pitt Tunnel is FAMOUS and it is for a reason. It's gorgeous.
On youtube you find a lot of videos about the tunnel with people filming out of their cars and some of them are really good although watching it on video is of course only a bad substitute of the real experience.
Funny enough the video that covers the impression best .... is animated. It is the super cute love story about Pittsburgh you find below.
I hope Riverlife PGH will do more of these videos. I love it a lot!
Thanks AGAIN to the one and only Virginia Montanez for posting it on her fantastic Pittsburgh Blog "That's Church"!