Rock, Paper, Frietjes

A national treasure of botanical, geological, and entrepreneurial significance.”

I was probably seven or eight when I first saw those iconic “See Rock City” signs; white on black painted roofs over bright red barns. Rock City is a dreamland full of waterfalls, caves, gnomes, faeries, and dioramas of German faery tales. The place was founded by a German, after all.

21751738_10155789467158885_4973301610923655917_n

This entry is dedicated to cutiepie G* who, more than anything, wanted to visit Humpty Dumpty in the underground cave.

The Enchanted Trail

Having squeezed in between two giant boulder walls, we entered the park and began the 3/4 mile path.

21557629_10155789467688885_4367881656136174402_n22046387_10155809988508885_5289427743385427907_n21766591_10155809989148885_1486634248633836227_n

 

Goblins Underpass 

In addition to faery tales, gnomes, and mythical statues, there are goblins.

22007532_10155809988453885_5080297659856096594_n21765068_10155809988328885_3019766015369488767_n21765003_10155809988388885_2371038310083325402_n22007537_10155809988278885_6731521062926281195_n

Lover’s Leap 

This man-made waterfall is also known as High Falls. Earlier in the trail you see the back end of it, and after you pass through the Rainbow Cave you will see the frontal view.

21764893_10155809987823885_2381557324901444982_n21557459_10155789467888885_428946568072076221_n

The Stone Bridge 

As you approach the viewing courtyard to “see seven states” you can either  take the stone bridge, or the swinging bridge. We made a full circle.

21766312_10155809988083885_3244667081743545801_n18892956_10155789468433885_592002200667218223_n

 

The Swinging Bridge

I’ve always liked swinging bridges, but my dog was definitely re-evaluating how much he trusts me on this one. He spider-crawled quickly across it and we were both happy.

21740628_10155789468033885_6148031494439629787_n

See Seven States!

Allegedly on the clearest of days, you can make out some noticeable landmarks that  distinguish one distant green/grey patch from the other. I kept hearing people mention that this was written in some old book, so it must be true.

Except I, typical me, had to research it and that does not quite seem to be the situation. Regardless, the view is incredible. It would not really matter what I saw when I got to the top, the walk itself and the design of the park was so enjoyable it forgives any question of authenticity.

21764809_10155809988133885_8623266322885558809_n21752372_10155809988198885_3124455294340316861_n21764960_10155809988238885_937187475390459316_n21751530_10155789468163885_3864711768928479066_n

Fat Man Squeeze

There were a few times I had to take some deep breaths and push myself through these narrow cracks and crevices. Just recently I had to acknowledge that constricting spaces make me panic, and I hadn’t the sense to anticipate there may be some of that going on here. However it turned out to be quite easily navigable once in motion.

21463171_10155789468648885_1546341113737309140_n

After making my dog walk across the swinging bridge, he had no time for claustrophobic nonsense.

21766365_10155809987328885_2684668545289909969_n

Squeeeeeeze

21764933_10155809987688885_6156325660512607846_n

Annnd you’re out

21557723_10155789468273885_6324832527300007830_n

Rainbow Cave

21587183_10155789227393885_1514786157538646296_o

The Rainbow Cave brought us so much joy. Pass through it to reach this frontal view of Lover’s Leap.

21462599_10155789468573885_6901690679655655400_n

 

Fairyland Caverns

After taking in Lover’s Leap, begin the descent into the LED underworld. Follow the fountains and intricate shadow boxes of nursery rhyme scenes to the Mother Goose Village.

21761746_10155809987278885_6457000278265123810_n21765275_10155809987168885_894507286143818959_n21766450_10155809987243885_5666742233859521300_n21462965_10155789468748885_7271176262661357865_n

And that is the extent of the photo quality I could get after this point. It became really dark, loud, and misty. I could not see very well but it was still a pleasant experience.

There were dozens of children running around and squealing when they found their favourite characters, but sadly G* was unimpressed with meeting Humpty Dumpty. Turns out it was just a statue that did not even have the decency to move or speak to her after she searched for so long. Bless her.

22007306_10155809987208885_8917769226439619412_n

 

Driving back home along 75N, I stopped in Lenoir City, TN at the Le Noir Belgian Cafe. I came specifically for the Frietjes Carbonnade a la Flamande; a rich, hearty Flemish stew made with beer, tender beef, hints of apple cider vinegar, spicy mustard, and bay leaves over thick-cut crispy potatoes. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

21463098_10155766164523885_8765946748971550737_n

Frietjes Carbonnade a la Flamande

An appetizer size is more than enough to fill you up, but they offer it as an entree on Tuesdays.

If you care to share it with someone else and order a different entree, I recommend the Croque Monsieur. Toasted bread with ham, mixed cheeses, and a perfectly creamy  bechamel on top.

22008375_10155810024663885_6250026467279130150_n

They serve beer in slush form, and in locally-made ceramic mugs. Pick up one of their handmade truffles or some fudge before you leave and just try not to eat one on the drive home.

 

“All ya had to do was give Humpty a chance
And now I’m gonna do my dance.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s