Friday, 5 July 2013

Chattanooga

30th September 2012
I wanted to visit Chattanooga even back when I was in Sydney. I was originally thinking of spending a weekend there and staying at The Crash Pad. Though, it was a good thing that I didn't because there weren't too many things that I could have done if I was alone (most people go for white water rafting, trails and other outdoor activities). The night of Six Flags, Sunbear asked me if I wanted to accompany him to Chattanooga the following day and I agreed. The plan was to leave at 6am and arrive at 8am (it was around a 2 hr drive). However the plan went out the window when I couldn't sleep and then spent a whole 10 minutes hiding in the bathroom until my Italian roommate and the boy she brought home disappeared. On a side note, I never did quite understand what happened with that boy. She wasn't taking him to bed, because she shared her room with another girl. And when I left my apartment, the boy was sleeping on the couch.

In the end, I woke up accidentally Sunbear and we left at 4.30am. This was the first time on a road trip, and with someone who I didn't really know. It was interesting, a lot of awkward silences, but interesting nonetheless. By the time we arrived at Dalton, Georgia nine-tenths of the way there, the sun was starting to rise and I wanted to catch the sunrise from the top of the mountain that we were driving next to. We didn't manage to stop at the top (since we couldn't) and we drove back down the other side.

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It was surreal. Standing in an open field with no signs of civilisation.

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At 8am on a Sunday in Chattanooga, it was a very sleepy city. There were hardly any cars around and definitely no one walking. We stumbled upon the Hamilton county fair and it was brilliant. Everyone had amazing Tennessee accents, I rode on a yellow school bus (it was the shuttle to the grounds)!! and it was so gezellig.

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Frozen t-shirt contest.

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Funnel cake!
 
Once again, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Though truth be told, that was basically the 'story of my life' when I was living in the US so nothing out of the ordinary in the end.
We (a generous use of the word) drove to Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area, thinking that it would be nice.

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The view of Chattanooga was lovely but that was about it. The lake was manmade and underwhelming.

On the drive back to Atlanta we got terribly lost. Sunbear took the wrong road and we didn't have a map or a GPS. We bought a map from the petrol station (and at this stage we had no idea where we were) and he forgot to ask where we were. I think it was pride, to this day, he disagrees. Naturally, the moment you are looking for street signs, they just all magically disappear and it is near impossible to find a street on the map when you have no idea which part of the map that you should even be looking at. At one moment, we were parked in a dark street with the car light on and looking at the map and a man approached the car and knocked on the window. It was terrifying. Though, in the end we made it back to the apartments. What was meant to be a 2 hour return trip turned into a 3 hour trip. Whoops.

My Overall Thoughts
It was alright. Nothing special, just a sleepy town and in hindsight, it seemed like an extension of Georgia.

Would I re-visit?
To Chattanooga, no. To Tennessee, yes. I wanted to visit Nashville and Memphis but just didn't. I don't even have reason as to why I didn't. I claim that there was no time, but in hindsight, I had so much time.

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