Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day 23

The Ghost City - Atlanta By Day

We were up early again today in an effort to get the flock outta dodge. We stayed in a Travelodge last night off 75S, about 10 miles from the center of Atlanta and it was dodgy. In fact it was so dodgy, we took our laptops with us to the baseball game last night.

I had managed to find a nice place - The Baymont Inn just off 75 only a few blocks from center city, so we drove up there around 10:00. we couldn't check in but were assured that there would be a room available for us. We left our bags in reception and went for a stroll.

We walked all around the center of the city and were surprised by two things. One - how few people there were in the center of the city. There was virtually no one walking around. It was like a ghost city. Two - how friendly the people who were in town really are. Everyone said hello to us and if we showed the least bit of confusion, we were asked if we needed any help. What a difference from the Northeast!

We made our way over to Underground Atlanta, which is a shopping center built along and on top of the oldest streets in the city. It's quite tacky as there aren't any nice shops and I can't believe that they chose to build it over the most historic part of town.

Feeling unimpressed and a bit pecky, we got the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) to the north part of the city to check out the Lenox Center, which is another large shopping mall. We were trying to escape the heat and Paulo had some bits to sort out, so it seemed like the logical place to go.

We strolled around, had lunch and I even bought some clothes that I probably don't need but wanted anyway.

I left Paulo behind to go back to the hotel to check in. Then it was straight to the pool for a shwim and a few rays. I spent an hour poolside and was totally chilled out for doing so.

We both spent some wi-fi quality time and then got back on the MARTA to go to Buckhead.

Odds And Sods - Atlanta By Night

I wanted to go to Buckhead because several people that I know have been to Atlanta and recommended it. Apparently it is the 'party place' in the city. Well, we were both extremely disappointed by what we saw - roadworks everywhere and not a decent bar / restaurant in sight. We walked for ages and finally stopped a local yokel to find out what the stary was. He told us that there used to be a lot of bars in the area but they had all been bought and torn down to build massive hotels and offices. what we couldn't figure out was why they needed so many hotels when there was virtually nobody around.

We strolled on and in atypical fashion settled on an Irish pub called Fado (the good old days) for a few scoops. I had a lovely chicken salad and a few pints of Newcastle Brown Ale, while Paulo opted for Boddingtons Ale.

There was a band playing called Turnstyle and they were absolutely brutal. After listening to them slaughter Just Like Heaven, Wonderwall, Come On Eileen and I think a cover of For Tomorrow we decided that they sounded like a 45 record that was being played at 78.

Moving swiftly along we walked back to the MARTA and once again got slapped with the bitterness of switching trains and long delays between services. When our train finally did arrive it was full of the biggest bunch of odds and sods you could possibly imagine. Total weirdos and fruitcakes. We both did our best to look straight ahead and avoid ALL eye contact at any cost. Even the walk back to the hotel was weird. All the odd-bods come out at night and they all try to talk to you in a totally incomprehensive southern drunken drawl. We were delighted to lock our door and close the curtains on a good but very strange day in Atlanta.

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