If I tell you Texas, what do you imagine? Probably cowboy hats, illuminated signs, shops selling handmade Texan boots, vintage cars, country music and saloons.
Forth Worth is the Texas I had always imagined.
Its historic town center takes you to take a step back in time.
The road to Fort Worth is a long Texan road in the middle of prairies which crosses cute villages.
Just the villages that I like, with vintage shops, saloons, broken-down cars and corrals with livestock.
Once you arrive in the center of Forth Worth, it may be for the musicians who perform live in the saloons, it may be for the locals who sit next to you to chat but I can forget about technology, about telephones once I’m in this place. I feel transported back in time to a few decades ago.
There are many vintage shops on the main road where you can browse: vintage action figures abound, toys from decades past but also clothes from the 50s, old jukeboxes and knicks knacks of all kinds.
It is in Forth Worth that they hold a twice-daily cattle parade in the Stockyards National Historic District.
I got to see it at 4 o'clock in the afternoon but I have heard there is one in the morning too.
A cowboy comes out of the stable on a horse and he opens the show, or rather, checks that everything is in order. He makes people move and makes sure people won’t yell too loud and scare the cows.
The cows are the Longhorns, the typical long horned cows from Texas.
They walk, moving a little here and there, as if they had to balance the weight of their horns each time. With their eyes they look around and move their snouts so as not to get stuck with the horns of other cows.
Fort Worth is not only the parade of the strange long-horned cows, it is also a pleasant city to visit. There are Tex-Mex restaurants, Far west-style shops, and monuments. It is the city where we met the most tourists but it is also true that, as soon as the parade was over, everyone disappeared and left us walking along the street in peace.
Then, just move a few meters, take the first side street and you find yourself in the real Fort Worth, with simple houses, garbage cans in front of the door and locals who can finally get their city back.
About an hour from Fort Worth is the town of Waco.
Before arriving in Waco I had a thousand ideas and expectations. I imagined a village, with many low houses, with well-kept gardens and tall trees. A center made up of small shops and historic buildings.
It is upon visiting it that I realize that Waco is not a small town, but rather a city with tall buildings, huge malls and very little green areas.
But it is true that Texas does not rely much on tourism.
Beyond agriculture and livestock, it is the production of oil that makes this area rich.
Along the road, the flat landscape is interrupted here and there by machinery for the extraction of oil and there are quite a few drillings everywhere in the State other than out at sea.
Crossing the different areas of Texas I have also come to understand how there is a strong religious spirit. I passed through a village where in front of every house there were large billboards with phrases praising God.
I had often found such signs, each with different phrases, but they normally were placed in front of churches not private homes so I was surprised.