Atlanta- a city worth a visit.

Spending time with family is one of the best reasons/excuses for travelling. Of course you don’t need an excuse to be with family. But, if someone asked, then yes, that is a worthy one. We decided to visit family during the Christmas season and this found us in Atlanta, Georgia.

When B booked the flights on Lufthansa Airlines I remember thinking, does Lufthansa fly to Kenya nowadays? I remembered it used to fly to Kenya in the past…past. Like 80s past. I later learnt they had just resumed flights to Kenya in early December. Of course it helped that the price was better than other airlines. Getting to JKIA airport, there was an almighty queue, and we were early, or so we thought. Apparently the systems were down and they were checking in passengers manually. This explains why we had trouble trying to check in online from home. As we stood on the queue B gave the online check-in one more try and this effectively cleared us almost 20+ spots ahead as the queue for online check-in was much shorter. The flight itself was ok and pretty long, with one stop over in Frankfurt,Germany

 

The City of Atlanta

We arrived in Atlanta and I remember feeling like I was coming home. Probably because of family-there is just sense of connection wherever family members are even though you don’t live close to each other. Thankfully the weather wasn’t so bad (read cold) and we adjusted easily.

Atlanta is a beautiful city and has so much to offer. It is the capital city of the US State of Georgia. Wikipedia tells me’ Atlanta was established in 1837 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil war to become a national center of commerce. Atlanta is the primary transportation hub of the Southeaster United States via highway, railroad, and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world’s busiest airport since 1998. Incidentally when we were there the airport celebrated it’s 100 millionth passenger!! Worth noting that most of the flights (in millions) are domestic flights. How’s that for domestic business!

 

Georgia Aquarium

This is an amazing place to visit! I can’t even put it down on paper to properly capture the grandeur of the place. B wasn’t interested in visiting it,so we didn’t go this time,but I still remember it from a past visit. It has more than 8 million gallons of water in numerous exhibits, most probably the world’s largest aquarium. It was opened in 2005, as a gift to the city from The Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. It’s a feast for the eyes and senses. For more information, find out here.

 

CNN Center

The CNN Center, near the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, acts as the global headquarters for the cable news organization. There is a special guided tour for visitors every day except major holidays. There is a standard 55-minute tour, as well as The Inside CNN VIP tour which allows visitors to get a bit closer to the news, with access to the newsrooms, and the Morning Express tour. You need to book for a tour as these tend to sell out during busy seasons, walk-ins are rare and you will be sorely disappointed.

 

Inside CNN Center
Inside CNN Center.Picture by B.

 

World of Coca-Cola

What’s not to like about this place! It’s quite surreal. You get to learn the amazing history of this world famous drink and brand and no, you will not know the ingredients of making a coke, but you almost forget that when surrounded by so much information and intrigue. Certainly, one of the most fascinating areas is the tasting/sampling station where you get to try 60 different sodas some you’ve never seen but sold in many other countries. Quite interesting. It’s a great place for kids too! My favourite aspect of this tour…watching the really old Coca Cola ads that we used to see when we were growing up. I almost had to catch myself from singing out loud. More details check out  World of Coca Cola.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

This one just needs a post on its own! But all I will say is it’s a must, must visit. This site has amazing exhibits about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. And the civil rights struggle. A tour of the site also includes the Ebenezer Baptist Church which is where Rev. King served as an ordained minister.

Ebenezer Baptist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church. Picture by B.

 

 

It is quite an amazing tour and really makes you appreciate or get a better understanding of the civil rights struggle. This one cannot be rushed, and you never get enough of it. I told myself I would visit it again. There was so much to learn. I think being from another part of the world, even though you hear about defining moments in a nation’s history, you can never fully grasp what it really is. I daresay in all exhibits I had ever seen with a historical perspective, this one really drove the point home for me. Quite profound.

Eternal Flame MLK Memorial
Eternal Flame MLK Memorial. Picture  by B.

 

For more information about this amazing exhibition go here.

 

Sun Dial Restaurant

We met up with a dear friend and she took us to an amazing restaurant in the city. The day happened to be a game day ( American football) and the Atlanta Falcons fans painted the city red and black. It was great seeing the moving sea of fans. The traffic jam gave me some consolation that Nairobi has some contenders for traffic jams in this part of the world, though Nairobi still takes the cake for really bad jams. The Sun Dial Restaurant is great for having a 360 degree view of the city and it’s environs. It is located at the top of the Westin Peachtree Hotel, 72 floors up!

Westin Peachtree Hotel
View of The Westin Peachtree Hotel(blue building). Picture by B.

 

The restaurant dining experience is  also unique because it rotates as you dine so you get really great views while eating really great food. We had brunch and it was just awesome. Even the eggs just looked like they were on show. Great conversations, Great food. Great views. For more info check out the restaurant site.

Sun Dial restaurant
Downtown view of Atlanta from the Sun Dial restaurant. Picture by B.

 

 

I don’t think having visited the usual tourist haunts, I have even scratched even the surface of what the city has to offer. We were staying in a city in the suburbs and would occasionally go into the city to check interesting places. However, a visit to Atlanta is almost not complete without a visit to one or two or all of the above mentioned places. Best part…they are all within walking distance of each other!

 

Hoping you enjoyed this snap shot of Atlanta.

 

Which tourist site would you be tempted to visit or have you visited in Atlanta?

 

Have a great week!

 

Cheers,

Mercy

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