Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Gatlinburg is a blossoming town in East Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains just outside of a major tourist attraction city called Pigeon Forge. The border between the two is not always clear to me, but for better or worse, I love it. Obviously patterned after a German settlement, it is a mix of traditional Southern USA and Appalachian culture, German culture, strange monuments, neon colours, and any activity you could dream of, all pushed  together unapologetically.

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The Howling Moose at the Visitors Center. I have never heard a moose howl, unfortunately. I remain skeptical.

 

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The Island, a theme park in Pigeon Forge that practically stretches along the highway and boasts a large ferris wheel.

 

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Boutique shopping centers and discount outlet malls are common here.

 

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Climbing activities for the energetic.

 

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Endless versions of sausage and potatoes, staples of both German and Southern cultures.

 

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Once again, Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft.

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Water flows all around here

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Almost everywhere, mountain views.

 

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Small replica of Seattle’s Space Needle looms over a giant arcade

 

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A massive polished marble remains suspended only by water outside Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, what likely began as a bizarre collection of vaudeville dime museums.  Ripley’s also has a dazzling Aquarium, a Haunted House, and other attractions I find much more interesting than my facial expression lets on.

 

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Attractive stone steps create multiple levels around the city.  This leads to one of many golf courses, affectionately known as “Putt-Putt” in this region.

 

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The Bear, just like in Germany, is the mascot of the Smokies.

 

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It is common to spot some Bavarian style architecture.

 

 

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Shopping Center known as The Village with cafes, gift shops, retro memorabilia, clothing, beef jerky, moonshine, hot sauce, wine, cowboy boots, leather goods, adult items, Wild West/Old-Tyme photography studios, smoking accessories, fudge, large portions of meat, souvenirs, and other regional specialties.

 

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A bit of people-watching.

 

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Church on the Hill

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Ah, my favourite place of all, the Ober Gatlinburg Lodge & Ski Resort. I can not ski. I do not even trust myself to walk downhill quickly. However in addition to the ski slopes, Ober has a sky lift, small rides, tubing, a skating rink in the center of a shopping mall, snack stands, and the Lodge bar and restaurant. Typically I visit for Oktoberfest or when the heimweh becomes unbearable. I sit and drink bier and eat schnitzel while owner Hal plays the Sousaphone and his polka band leads patrons into the Chicken Dance. Soon I will have more photos, or perhaps a separate entry.

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And let’s throw in a Godzilla monument to create balance. Nearby is a Dungeons & Dragons type of Magic mansion, race car tracks, bumper boats, Country music theatre shows, and all you can eat buffets. ‘Merica.

 

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