Tuesday, September 15-cont. - Our next stop in Atlanta was at the Georgia State Capitol building in downtown.
After passing through security, we were free to walk anywhere on the four floors. The first floor is below street level. Guess you might call it the basement. It has a snack bar, restrooms and a Hall of Valor. The second floor was were one finds the Office of the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Lieutenant Governor.
The third floor contains the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber. These branches of government were not in session during our visit, but it was still interesting to see these areas.
The forth floor contains a museum of historical events that have shaped Georgia's history. This floor is very well done. We learned so much about Georgia and its history. One fact stood out the most…Over the years, Georgia’s Capitol has been moved FIVE times…Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, Milledgeville and Atlanta. We read that as the population moved, so went the Capitol. We think it is here to stay in Atlanta…lol.
This is what we saw when we went to look at the rotunda.
The grounds around the Capitol Building are beautiful and contains several historical monuments and statues. Of course, President Jimmy Carter's life size monument can be found in a prominent location near one of the buildings entrances.
One sculpture that the Capitol is known for is Miss Freedom. She sets atop the copper clad dome at 22 1/2 feet tall and weights 1,250 pounds. Now that is a big girl.
We enjoyed our visit to the Capitol Building and recommend it as a worthwhile visit when in the Atlanta area.
Our last stop of the day was Stone Mountain Park. We always heard that this was a Confederate monument similar to Mount Rushmore. Sorry dear southerners, but not even close! :-) The first shock was the $15 entrance fee to park. Luckily, we were only interested in seeing the sculpture and doing the hike up the mountain. If we wanted to take the Skyride to the top of the mountain, ride the train or riverboat, or visit the Crossroads Area, which is similar to an amusement park, it would have cost us $29.95/each. We could have easily drop a hundred dollar bill if you were interested in all of these areas. Thank goodness Marsha checked the website before we left and found that because school was now in session, all the activities were closed. We were able to walk right into the park without paying the huge price.
The largest high relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving, depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain's surface. It appeared it needed a good cleaning or sandblasting to improve its appearance. There is also Confederate Historical walk with information of each of the states in the Confederacy.
There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain, cable car or hiking trail. We headed up the trail. It is a one mile trail on a granite rock surface with considerable altitude gain. It took us about an hour to climb the one mile and about 25 minutes to ascend. At the top, there is a snack bar.
We saw many questionably fit hikers attempting the climb but were happy NOT to see anyone in flip flops or sandals. :-) From the top of the mountain on a clear day, there is a view of over 60 miles, and you can see the skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta.
There's much more to see in Atlanta, but we only had a limited time to visit. We'll have to come back another time, that's for sure! We are now in Augusta, GA, visiting with Paul’s brother, John, and the family.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!