Saturday, June 20, 2015

My, who knew there was so much to do in Chattanooga?

When Jack and I decided to come to Chattanooga TN for a week, we thought we would do a little sight-seeing, and then sitting back and just relaxing.  The campground we chose offered discount combo tickets to the three "main attractions" here:  Rock City, the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls.  I read our AAA Guide Book and that sounded like the things to see, and it also sounded like one could see them all in one or two days (if you really wanted to take your time and spread them out).  So, we purchased them, and decided to do the Incline Railway the first day.

By 10:00 a.m. the temperature had already reached the high 90's with the humidity in the same numbers.  It didn't take long before we realized that our bountiful energy that we started out the door with, was slowly being zapped by this unaccustomed heat.  It didn't stop our enjoyment, but it did slow us down a bit!

The trip is really quite exciting.  You take a trolley-style car, almost straight up the side of Lookout Mountain, a full mile!  It's the steepest passenger railway in the world, and I can tell you, you really feel it too!  We were on something like it in Pennsylvania, and it wasn't nearly as long or as steep.  Once you get to the top, they have a great observation tower that looks out over the city all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains!

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Passing the "other" Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
View of Chattanooga TN from on top of Lookout Mountain

I thought the other incredible thing was, they built this back in 1895!  Amazing.  They had some wonderful old photos along the walls telling the stories and showing the various cars they have used over the years.

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Chattanooga TN - Circa 1895
Down the street is the Point Park, where the Battle Above the Clouds was fought in 1863.  The CCC built a beautiful "Castle-like" entrance to the park, that you can then walk around and see where the various "gun positions" were set up.  Cannons have been placed around with signage sharing information as to who was there, what happened, etc.  Along with that, the National Park Service has a nice exhibit inside including videos and a huge painting of the battle itself.
Entrance to Point Park
Jack with a couple of the cannons, Point Park
The New York Peace Memorial, Point Park
Cooling off in our air conditioned car, we headed into downtown Chattanooga to check it out and have some lunch (in an air conditioned restaurant!).  Afterward we walked around the "Riverfront" a bit (not to much to see, actually) but the Aquarium looks like it might be something to look into later in the week.  Went into the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo, which is now a hotel, cafe, shops, etc.  Beautiful building.  Cute sign on top!

1909 Chattanooga Choo Choo train depot/hotel
The city has some great murals and plenty of art everywhere!  They also have a free electric trolley that runs throughout most of it (with an all day $4 parking garage close by). We made one last stop before heading home, and that was at the the National Cemetery that was established in 1863 to contain the bodies of more than 12,000 Union soldiers who died in the area.  It is huge, and emotionally powerful.  Thousands of white gravestones, rows and rows of them over rolling hills...from 1863 to now...

Very interesting mural!, downtown Chattanoog
Walnut Street Bridge (105 yr old pedestrian - over the Tennessee River)
Jack & Marie at the "Rail Wave" by Christopher Fennell
Chattanooga National Cemetery established  in 1863 (incl 12,000 Union soldiers)
So much for being able to "do it all in a day!"  We were tuckered out by 4:00 p.m. and came home to our air conditioned RV!  Funny thing was, we no sooner got in and the sky opened up and it poured!  Guess our timing was right!

All I can this town is going to take many days to see!

...kicking back in Chattanooga TN,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: 

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