Asheville, North Carolina

On May 3, I went to Asheville, North Carolina. Since I don’t have my car anymore, I took the bus. So, for the first time, I hopped on a Greyhound. We departed in Nashville more than half an hour late and drove to Knoxville, TN, where I fortunately got the connection to Asheville despite the delay. I arrived in Asheville around 9:40 in the evening.

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At the Greyhound Station my parents and sister, who had come down from Washington, D.C., picked me up. We were all pretty hungry from our travels, so we went downtown to Strada, where we shared dinner for the first time in more than nine months. Having eaten, we went to the Beaufort House Inn Bed & Breakfast.

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On Sunday, we decided to basically stay on site all day, except for a short foray downtown to get a cup of coffee and some pie. The rest of the day we spent talking on the terrace and on the porch to catch up. The Beaufort House Inn is an old Victorian home that is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in north Asheville. In the evening we walked down to nearby Merrimon Avenue, where we had diner at Homegrown. The guys at Homegrown keep what they promise on their menu: they serve “slow food right quick,” and it’s not only quick, but also delicious and it comes in wholesome portions.

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On Monday, we went on a little tour to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Driving there, we crossed Cherokee City in the Cherokee Indian Reservation, also known as Qualla Boundary. We drove an hour and a half or so until we arrived at the parking lot near Clingmans Dome. From there, we walked uphill on the Clingmans Dome Bypass trail, crossing the famous Appalachian Trail.

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The mountaintop is not just an amazing outlook, but at 2,025m also the highest elevation in the state of Tennessee. I had been there once before in November last year, but this time the visibility was slightly better than back then.

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After checking out the view from the observation tower, we went for a little walk on the Forney Ridge Trail. When we returned to the  parking lot, we decided to go west and get a bite to eat on the Tennessee side of the park. So we drove through the horrible provincial towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with all their misplaced attractions, and stopped at the Moonshine Ridge Café for sandwiches. By then it was already past 5 PM, and so we started our journey back to Asheville.

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For the last night in Asheville, we got some wine, grapes and cheese from Harris Teeter and hung out on the Porch once more. On Tuesday morning, we drove back to Nashville, TN. Although we did not get to see some of the more famous attractions that Asheville has to offer, like the Biltmore Estate or the Thomas Wolfe House, we had a great time.

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