On my way home from Ecuador, I get a twelve hour stop-over in Atlanta . It was not planned, but my good friend Morten comes up with a list of sight-seen things. One of the sights is the world's largest aquarium, but I will be diving in the rich waters of Sulawesi; Indonesia within a week, and I can wait to see corals. Fortunately, it is during the day, and there are a few other things to enjoy my selves with.
3/11. It is only a six hour flight, and during the night, but I can't sleep at all. Even though I have gotten a seat behind the emergency exit: No seat in front; I just can't find rest. Might go better tomorrow night on the flight to Copenhagen!
Once again, I am baffled over the waiting it takes to enter the US. I spent an hour and a half in the airport before I am out in the train, and I don't even have to bother abut my big bag, which hopefully will end up in Copenhagen along with me tomorrow.
At Art Centre, a shift into bus 36, and quite fast, I'm at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Actually; it is too fast, there are more than an hour to they open. It is a cold morning, not more than fifteen degrees, and I have only brought a thin T-shirt due to the intelligence my Danish office have sent: 20-24C.
It turns out the last fourteen days have been surprisingly bad, especially the last week. Pouring rain every day and cold; real strange for the city. That in mind, the day turns out really nicely: Full sun and 25C, although the wind is chill.
Ever since I entered the train, I have only seen black people. It might have something to do with the time of day? That continues more or less, when the staff meets in at the botanical garden. I sit at a fountain, and doing my lizard imitation; the sun are luckily breaking this mornings clouds. More staff meets in, and I'm aloud to wait in the warmer reception.
Even though it is a very young garden, the glasshouses contains some very large plants. Due to the climate, there are not that many glasshouses, but those there are, are really a treat. Especially the orchid collection, counting more than 2000 are impressive. I try to get a photo of each flowering, but I'm sure I misses some. In-between the orchids, I spot some of the ant-plants, begonias and the special epiphytic ferns I'm going to see in the wild next week.
The desert house is less impressive, although it is nice. Again, there are some huge plants, but many of the plants should have been dried out in periods, or cut back to maintain their natural shape. The whole house are suspicious lush green! There are names on a quarter of the plants, and I recognises the rest.
The last house host a rainforest, and it is a really grown-together but still well maintained "mess". As for the other houses, only a narrow path leads through, and taking pictures of the house it selves are impossible. In the entrance are three nice terrariums with poison dart frogs and some leaf frogs. Another place, I find something familiar as well: A tissue laboratory. Outside, I find a young anole, probably a Anolis carolinensis.
On my way back, I passes the slightly disappointing Japanese garden. There are a conifer collection, a edible -, perennial, rose- and children's garden. It covers a total of 30 aches, equals 12 hectares in a scientific scale. The garden was started as late as 1997, and a big art, including the glasshouses are from 2004.
At eleven, I passes the café, and treat my selves with a Jack Rabbit: Smoked turkey sandwich - which comes with a bag of potato chips!, a Cesar Salad and a medium coffee: All for 10$ . Sit in the sun and enjoy until it is too late to walk to the natural museum. The houses in the area looks real nice.
Instead, I take the bus to the station, then the train into City Centre; Five Ways, and do a bit of walking. Here are some amassing mix of old and new buildings. Broad Road have some fancy cafés, but just I ate guinea pig in Ecuador, I eat Mc Donald's here: Double cheese menu: 3,30$.
A few more rounds the centre, and I'm back at the train station at three, and I actually have a ticket, sitting at the gate at quarter pass four! Coffee and a calorie boost for the last coins - that can't be changed into a 10 dollar note. Two hours to write the memories and check the 284 photos - mainly orchids. I'm even able to find a free internet!
When I reaches Denmark after yet another sleepless night due to coldness, it is 3C and pretty windy. When I reaches my home, it starts to snow! Glad I'm only here for a week; then it is diving in Sulawesi!
It have been a short stay to Atlanta, but that is what it takes! This is a city of bureaucrats, not tourists! Unless, of cause, you are into the Coca Cola, the CNN museum, the large Aquarium, ZOO and stuff like that. Then you might need two days. The price considered, a good visit.