Part of our recent Easter road trip we ventured South, to Nashville and The Smokey Mountains. We had a great time and particularly enjoyed Nashville and seeing some more areas of the country. The drive over to the Smokies was rural and sunny and really pretty, we enjoyed watching the landscape change whilst listening to Bill Bryson’s At Home. We weren’t prepared for Pigeon Forge. After driving for a long time and stopping for some Chinese we only had an hour left to go before reaching our destination of Gatlinburg and exploring the Smokies.
There was no warning, we were slowly driving through rural landscape, with more forest and mountains beginning to appear on the horizon. We entered Pigeon Forge and the town lit up in front of us. Literally. Every building in Neon and glorious. My eyes still hurt from it. If you took Disney world and crossed in with Blackpool, and added in extra lights and then put in on steroids you might arrive at Pigeon Forge. I was torn between horror at this monstrosity, and wondered what had been in that Chinese food, and utter wonder at this place of crazy. Pigeon Forge is described as a resort town, meaning the whole town is basically a theme park. We drove along the main street in wonder, there are roller coaters, bumper cars, crazy golf, gold panning, trains, fun houses, candy stores, aquariums and stuff you normally find at the amusement arcade or local town fair along the side of the road. There are malls and theatres and what we hadn’t realised until we got there…. DOLLYWOOD!
Dollywood, is a theme park owned by Dolly Parton, I didnt know this place even existed, Kiwi had heard of it but hadn’t realised where it was. Its amazing! Feeling a little delirious we headed on to Gatlinburg, we expected a sleepy moutain resort but Galtinburg is Pigeon Forge’s tiny sister. The town is walk-able, and has aquariums, theatres, rides and candy stores dotted along. We walked along in amusement and feeling like we had found a town, like in the horror movies. We stumbled across a ‘cute’ courtyard decorated for Easter, with a kind of old school village theme. The reult was insanely creepy! I started wondering if zombies were about to jump out and chase us. We did enjoy finding moonshine, and having cheese fondue and checking out the differnt types of crazy golf! I found some postcards to send home, most had bears, and pictures of the stunning fall colours, I found one that summed up Gatlinburg well, it was covered in glitter.