Day 7 - The Hall of the Mountain What Now?
Chattanooga to Atlanta
A day of mountains today, of which I thoroughly approve of course. We started the day with a visit to Rock City on Lookout Mountain, the sole purpose for us including Chattanooga in the trip. Those who have read American Gods will know that it is one of the key sites in the book, but I won't add any spoilers for those who are just watching the series (should arrive about season 3 or 4 at the current rate I guess!).
Rock City seems to have started as someone's garden on a cliff with a view over a number of states and in true American style was seized upon as potential gold mine. It follows the standard pattern of taking a natural wonder and "enhancing" it with some bizarrely manufactured kitsch. The "Enchanted Trail" is all very pleasant (piped soothing music notwithstanding).
... and yes I did make it through!
Things get decidedly weirder as you venture into the Fairytale Cavern.
I love this stuff. There is something very appealing about a personal folly elevated to the level of obsession and shared with the public (it's what makes the internet great after all). If you are going to do it, may as well go for it! I can see why Neil Gaiman latched onto these places as places of power.
Anyway, having had our fill of gnomes, it was on to Atlanta via Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is America's version of Ayers Rock - a huge granite monolith (only about a tenth of which is above ground), rising 1700 feet just outside Atlanta.
We toyed with the idea of walking up for all of 4 seconds before leaping on to the cable car to the top. Stopped for a snack in the cafe, but the only veggie option was fries. I went for the cheesy option, thinking UK style cheesy chips and then looked on with horror as they piped some noxious gloop on top. Ethan was very amused. It is a bizarre concoction which seems to combine a very unpleasant slimy texture with a thoroughly bland taste, and yet not quite bland enough...
Didn't stop me eating the fries of course, but I felt dirty.
At least the dining was better in Atlanta later, even if it was in a restaurant famed for its bison.
Home for the next few days