United States
North Carolina

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  • Day78

    Day 78 - Blue Ridge Parkway

    July 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    I had the best sleep on our trip so far, apparently Jackie didn’t. We also had one of our better breakfasts & stole butters, jams & bananas for our lunch/ tea.

    Our 1st stop of the day was the Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Asheville. The architect was the renowned architect, Raphael Guastavino, who came to Asheville in 1900s to work on the Biltmore House. We went inside to admire the stunning decor. I took a photo & flapped around in my flip-flops whilst Jackie prayed. Our departure & that of a family of four was prematurely brought forward by the arrival of a Hobo who wanted to talk to everyone.

    Next stop was the Large Iron, a Flat Iron sculpture outside The Flat Iron Building. It wasn’t as impressive as it should have been & it appeared to get used as an ideal surface to stick flyers to. Some bloke was peeling some off when we pulled up.

    Asheville seemed a very nice town, possibly because it resembled a North European city complete with town squares & alfresco dining.

    We drove on past the Biltmore Estate & back to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I drove to the Asheville Visitor Center on the BRP & handed over the reins to Jackie. Jackie then drove the next 79.6 miles to Line Cove Viaduct Information Center without much incident, just with impressive accuracy in finding all the potholes in the road!

    This leg of the route took us past Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell State Park, Little Switzerland & Linville Falls. Most of this journey was through Pisgah Forest & we were hemmed in by trees on both sides of the road. There were the occasional look-outs, but just one or two we stopped at, because we had ambitiously planned to drive a total of 262.4 miles on the BRP at a maximum speed limit of 45mph & often 35mph.

    At Line Cove Viaduct Info Center, I took over the driving & we passed Deep Gap, Benge Gap, Doughton Park, Cumberland Knob & crossed the State Line into Virginia before stopping at the Blue Ridge Music Center, which is run by the National Park Service. We arrived at 3.55pm & saw the last couple of minutes of a bluegrass band playing to an audience. They also had dancers jigging about. To the untrained ear, bluegrass music appears to be dominated by the banjo & it reminded us of that piece of music from Deliverance.

    After looking at their collection of instruments, we continued on north up the BRP, passing Mount Airy, then stopping at Fancy Gap for some petrol. We then continued, passing Groundhog Mountain, Meadows of Dan, Mabry Mill, Rocky Knob, Tuggles Gap, before turning off at Roanoke. I had tried to speed up a bit on the last leg, but we encountered numerous deer in the road & one wild turkey. We didn’t want anymore dents!

    We planned to stay in Tanglewood, just outside Roanoke, but we didn’t like the area & ended up driving another 20 kilometres to a little town called Daleville & checking into a (not so) Super 8. The receptionist informed us that we could get 10% off at the Mexican next door, which was a game changer for us.

    The Mexican, Rancho Viejo, appeared to be busy, so we had a couple of beers in our room then went to the Mexican at 8:40pm. The only customers in the restaurant were 6 blokes who suddenly rushed out leaving virtually their whole dinners. It turned out there were the local on duty Fire Department team, who had presumably responded to a call. They returned to their dinner just as we were leaving.

    The Mexican restaurant annoyed me because they were mopping everything down despite not closing until 10.00pm & they put us in a seat closest to the door, so I insisted on moving. This caused a bit of tension, but the food turned out to be ok & cheap. We got our discount, so I did leave a $5 tip.

    Song of the Day - Duelling Banjos by Blueridge Mountain Bluegrass Band.
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  • Day103

    Blue Ridge Parkway 4

    October 6, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    Parkway Mile 215 - 297
    Das Wetter ähnelt einer Waschküche...

    Nachdem wir uns einen Picknick-Platz zum übernachten gesucht und uns eingerichtet hatten, klopft doch plötzlich ein Polizist an unser Auto… Er weißt uns freundlich drauf hin, dass 500m weiter ein Campingplatz ist 🙄, wir dürfen aber trotzdem auf dem Parkplatz bleiben 😉Read more

  • Day105

    Blue Ridge Parkway 6

    October 8, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Parkway Mile 385 - 469 = das Ende

    Eigentlich wollten wir in Asheville das Biltmore Estate (Amerika’s größtes Privathaus) besichtigen, allerdings waren uns 79,- USD pro Person für eine Hausbesichtigung zu viel…

    Als Entschädigung für das bescheidene Wetter, haben wir in Cherokee noch zwei Wapiti gesehen 😊Read more

  • Day77

    Day 77 - Bear Faced Cheek!

    July 7, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We allowed ourselves a lie in after a long day yesterday. Jackie got out of bed at 9.30am & sat on the balcony, whilst I read my book in bed. At 10.00am I forced myself out of bed & joined Jackie on the balcony.

    I looked over the balcony & blow me, about 40 yards up the road saw a Black Bear just stood in the road. A man in the street below us, raced to his car. After a minute or two the bear ambled over to the next door chalet entrance & started rummaging in the bin outside the front door. Jackie grabbed my camera & I started taking photos only to later realise the SD card wasn’t in it....doh!

    I grabbed my phone & got some video footage. The bear eventually got a bag of rubbish & took it back across the road & ripped it apart. The bear then went back for more & returned with a carrier bag full of rubbish. Someone came out of the chalet shouting at him & he dropped the bag & jumped back into the foliage on the mountain opposite.

    Minutes later we was out again devouring the contents of the carrier bag, then we went back towards the chalet for more. He was walking between the cars & every so often he would rear up on his hind legs, with his front paws either on a vehicle, a tree or on the top of the bin. I prayed “Please don’t climb all over Doodle!!”

    Word was obviously getting round, because every so often someone would appear & try to shoo him away. A group of bikini clad girls who had been at our pool, appeared in the road. One stupid woman approached the bear to take a photo with a baby in her arms & a small child beside her.

    It was about 40 minutes later, after some great entertainment, that a plucky cleaner armed with a broom got within 10 feet of the bear to scare it away. This only temporarily worked & another cleaner took several attempts to scare it away by driving his car towards it & beeping his horn. There was then a mass exodus of guests from the chalet.

    Although it was a great experience to see a bear so close up, it should be said that our chalet had brought the problem on themselves by having non bear-proof bins outside the front door of each building. If they don’t resolve it soon, either someone will get hurt or worse still the bear will be killed!

    With all the excitement, I had taken my eye off the time & had just 15 minutes to shower, pack & check out. For us it is now quite a well rehearsed drill & we were out just minutes late.

    As I was packing the boot the irresponsible mother with baby was packing up her own car, saw my box of beers & said “Can I have a beer?” The bare faced cheek of it. Quite taken a back, I said “If you’re that desperate to beg for a beer, you’d better have one” I gave a can of beer & she said “Thank you” without an ounce of shame.

    Jackie & I drove south on 441 into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our 1st stop was the Sugarlands Visitor Center, where I picked up the my standard gloss National Park brochure. We then continued back on 441 & followed a procession of vehicles meandering through the Smokies at varying speeds, all below 35mph.

    The vegetation in the Smoky Mountains give off a vapour that creates a blue mist, giving it it’s name, but the vapour does also actually smell smoky. Not that pleasant for a non-smoker!

    Our intended destination was Clingman’s Dome just inside the State of North Carolina, which at 6,643ft, was at the ‘Top of the Smokies’. As we approached, we joined the back of a traffic jam, but luckily for us a woman called over & said that there were no spaces ahead & to park where we were on the other side of the road. It turned out to be a great bit of advice.

    A momentous event occurred, because I got out wearing just my flip-flops (on my feet) & we walked the half a mile + route & with an ascent of 100 metres to Clingman’s Dome. It was tough going in the sweltering heat & oxygen deprivation, but I left Jackie for dead. The down side to my athleticism was, that I was a hot sweaty mess at the summit. The Observation Tower at the top provides fantastic 360 degree views (on a good day) of The Smokies. After a few statutory selfies, we commenced the descent. I was better going up in flip-flops than down. My descent reduced me to my customary Max Wall impersonation, apparently!

    Another little highlight on this trek was that we actually crossed the Appalachian Trail at it’s highest point. The Appalachian Trail is over 2,180 miles long & is the longest hiking-only trail in the world. It extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine in the Eastern United States.

    Back at the car we continued south in a procession to the town of Cherokee, which to our surprise was an American Indian enclave. If you wanted to buy some Red Indian old tat or have your photo taken with a Red Indian or Buffalo, this was the place for you.

    We just filled up with petrol & drove back north a couple of miles & entered on to the Blue Ridge Parkway at it’s farthest south-western end. It was gloriously devoid of any crowds & we scooted along at 45mph to Waterrock Knob Visitor Center. Again I picked up a National Parks glossy brochure, but this time for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Now, Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long through North Carolina & Virginia. Our plan is to drive to Asheville, just 79 miles along it, then complete the remainder of the Blue Ridge Parkway over the next two days. It is a lovely scenic drive, through what can only be described as green fluffy mountains, that look like massive florets of broccoli 🥦!! On the down side, we have been attacked by ticks that cause all sorts of illness including Lyme Disease. Every time we get out of the car we have about 10 each crawling all over us.

    A couple of hours later with our roof going up & down like a whores drawers & passing literally hundreds of lookouts with fantastic & stupid names, we arrived in Asheville, North Carolina. Jackie had chosen ‘the Beaucatcher Motel’ & around 5.00pm we pulled up outside. It passed the test & we settled into our room with balcony. I sat on the balcony chair, but with a loud crack I jumped back up again. The chair had snapped in two places. I got one of our underused camping chairs out as a replacement.

    It had no bearing on our decision to stay at the Beaucatcher, but next door was our favourite, Panda Express. We hadn’t seen one for a couple of weeks, so we treated ourselves & had an early night. I might add that Asheville seemed a delightful little town still at 3,000 ft altitude. Hopefully we may find time to explore further.

    Song of the Day - The Bare Necessities by Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman (The Jungle Book Original Soundtrack).
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  • Day85

    New Bern, Raleigh und Charlotte

    November 9, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Ja du hast richtig gelesen- Bern:)). Im Bundesstaat North Carloina gibt es eine Stadt die New Bern heisst. Die Stadt hat 30’101 Einwohner und wurde 1710 durch Auswanderer aus der Schweiz und Deutschland gegründet; massgeblich beteiligt waren Christoph von Graffenried und Franz Ludwig Michel aus Bern sowie John Lawson aus Deutschland. Die Stadt hat zwei Gemeinsamkeiten, sie liegen beide am Wasser und sind besitzen beide die gleiche Flagge. Es ist eine schöne Stadt. Wir mussten schmunzeln als wir die Plastikbären, die überall aufgestellt sind, sahen. Auch fast an jedem 2. Haus ist die Berner Fahne mit der USA Flagge daneben zu sehen.
    Leider gab es kein Fondue oder ein Racelette:)) für uns🙈

    Nach New Bern fuhren wir wieder ins Landesinnere nach Raleigh. Dies war ein Stopp, um nochmals einen Eishockeymatch erleben zu können. Der Match fand zwischen den Carolina Hurricanes (mit dem Schweizer Nino Niederreiter) und den Ottawa Senators statt. Es war ein torreiches Spiel, welches mit 8:2 für die „Canes“ endete.
    Anina genoss in Raileigh zudem noch eine Yogastunde- dies war super😊.

    Als wir am nächsten Tag in Charlotte ankamen, wars „arschkalt“. 5 Grad, Wind und Nieselregen sind nichts für mich (Anina). Nachdem wir eine Stunde durch die Stadt geschländert sind, entschlossen wir uns ins Kino zu gehen. Da wir dies beide sehr gerne machen und das Wetter pefekt dafür war, genossen wir dies sehr. Wir haben den Film Midway gesehen. An alle die sich für den 2. Weltkrieg interessieren- geht in den Kino. Auch ich (Anina) fand ihn sehr interessant. Zudem wars nochmals eindrücklicher, da wir in San Diego auf der Midway (Flugzeugträger der Army) selber waren.
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  • Day1

    St. Nicholas delivered our travel docs

    December 25, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    This year work has been busy, challenging but also rewarding. I love to travel and help others explore all parts of this world; Europe, Africa, S. America, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand - by land or by sea. I too have been blessed with opportunities to travel: Italy in April and a beautiful River Cruise in August. I have made wonderful friends, shared with and received from them great insight to help me forge ahead in my career. I thank them all for what I have learned and experienced in 2019 and pray 2020 we all will be richly blessed and grateful.
    Over the past 18 months I have had the privilege of booking a number of clients on AmaWaterways River Cruises. And in tour, Ama has offered agents: sell 5, sail free! Well hard work does pay-off. I requested a cruise for post Christmas into the New Year on the Danube and was granted it. So excited to be able to take my sister, Peggy with me, and Jerry (our minion).
    As a travel agent, I have choices of suppliers to use that best fit my client's needs and provide them with memorable experiences. I hope this trip will be filled with new experiences and knowledge to bring back to my clients as well as renewed spirit to be a strong agent for years to come.
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  • Day70

    A Bump in the Road

    August 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    A sensor failure in the DEF emissions control system put us out of commission. After spending the day on the side of I-95 in NC , we had to be towed 50 miles north to be near a repair facility. Fortunately we had just pulled into a rest area when the engine shut down signal occurred . The bad news is that Spartan tells us that the part is back ordered for two weeks. We are staying at Raleigh Oaks RV Resort in the meantime.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

North Carolina, NC, Noord-Carolina, ኖርዝ ካሮላይና, Carolina do Norte, Norþcarolīna, كارولاينا الشمالية, كارولاينا الشماليه, Carolina del Norte, North Carolina suyu, Şimali Karolina, شمال کارولینا ایالتی, Төньяҡ Каролина, Штат Паўночная Караліна, Северна Каролина, उत्तर कैरोलिना, Not Carolina, নর্থ ক্যারোলাইনা, Sjeverna Karolina, Хойто Каролина, Carolina del Nord, Къилбаседа Каролина, کارۆلینای باکوور, Severní Karolína, Çурçĕр Каролина, Gogledd Carolina, Karolinaya Zımey, Βόρεια Καρολίνα, Norda Karolino, Põhja-Carolina, Ipar Carolina, کارولینای شمالی, Pohjois-Carolina, Caroline du Nord, Noard-Karolina, Carolina Thuaidh, Poyraz Karolina, Carolina a Tuath, Yvate Karolina, Carolina Hwoaie, Pet Khà-lò-lòi-na̍p, קרוליינה הצפונית, उत्तर केरोलिना, Karolin dinò, Észak-Karolina, Հյուսիսային Կարոլինա, Carolina Utara, Nord-Carolina, Nort Kárólínạ, Nordal Karolina, Norður-Karólína, ᑳᕉᓖᓈ ᑐᓄᕕᐊᖅ, ノースカロライナ州, ჩრდილოეთი კაროლინა, Солтүстік Каролина, ಉತ್ತರ ಕೆರೊಲೀನ, 노스캐롤라이나 주, Karolînaya Bakur, Karolina Gledh, Carolina Septentrionalis, Karolina del Norte, Carolinn-a do Nord, کارولینا شومالی, Šiaurės Karolina, Ziemeļkarolīna, Йӱдвел Каролине, വടക്കൻ കരൊലൈന, नॉर्थ कॅरोलिना, Йыдвел Каролина, မြောက်ကယ်ရိုလိုင်းနားပြည်နယ်, شمالی کارولینا, Carolina Mictlāmpa, नर्थ क्यारोलाइना, नर्थ क्यारोलिना, Náhookǫsjí Kééláanah Hahoodzo, Carolina del Nòrd, Цæгат Каролинæ, ਉੱਤਰੀ ਕੈਰੋਲੀਨਾ, Pangulung Carolina, उत्तर क्यारोलिना, Karolina Północna, Carolin-a dël Nòrd, نارتھ کیرولائنا, Carolina de Nord, Северная Каролина, नार्थ केरोलैना, Хоту Каролина, Carolina dû Nord, Davvi-Carolina, Severná Karolína, Severna Karolina, Půłnocno Karolina, வட கரொலைனா, Каролинаи Шимолӣ, รัฐนอร์ทแคโรไลนา, Hilagang Karolina, Kuzey Karolina, Төньяк Каролина, Shimaliy Karolina Shitati, Північна Кароліна, شمالی کیرولائنا, Shimoliy Karolina, Bắc Carolina, Ар Карелайн, צפון קאראליינע, Àríwá Carolina, 北卡羅萊納州, 北卡罗来纳州

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