Late October 2014, my class had Fall Break for about a week. My room mate Onyinye and I decided to go to Atlanta, GA and explore the city for 3 days. We went to North Highland Avenue by walking, joined the morning CNN tour, then next to World of Coca Cola, then straight to Atlantic Station to watch Cirque du Soleil!
When we first arrived on the 22nd, we were surprised to pass a ghetto area before our hotel. There was even smoking odor at the hotel. Luckily, the concierge was nice and upgraded our room to Double. It was large and comfy to stay for two nights.
Getting to the North Highland Avenue
Yes. Getting there is the big question. The North Highland Avenue has a downtown area and places to eat. Onyinye and I decided to walk since Google Maps didn't mention any public transportation heading toward there.
After what seems to be hours, we finally get to the 'downtown'. Yet, it's not as fancy as we think! In the end, we just stopped by for sweets at Paoli's Gelato. Then we ate at Goin' Coastal seafood restaurant next to the shop.
Right. The next morning, we started off with a CNN tour. The ticket costs $15 and the earliest tour is at 9AM. The tour lasts for about an hour. The CNN Center is CNN's world headquarters. The facility have newsrooms, studios, and offices that are connected to CNN offices around the world.
But the next day was packed with plans!
On the left is one of the offices where employees track news non-stop. We the visitors observed how they work through glasses. During the tour, we also had the chance to experience reading news. One of us volunteer to sit on a chair, looked at the camera, and read news lines reflected on the camera lens. Another volunteer stood on a big green screen and reported weather forecast.
What's the highlight of the World of Coca Cola? Free soda drink!
Next stop: World of Coca Cola
The World of Coca Cola is located near the CNN Center at 121 Baker St NW. It's next to the Georgia Aquarium and both are fun for family attractions. The ticket costs $16 for an adult. When we stepped inside, there were giant Coca Cola bottles decorated from around the world. Monitors behind them show faces of different culture and background.
The tour itself was a lot of fun! The host was entertaining as she explained the history of Coca Cola. Inside the building they have different exhibitions and Coca Cola's Polar Bear. But the ultimate fun was the soda tasting part! For one visit, you can try soda from around the world: Japan's vegetable soda, Thailand's Watermelon Fanta, China's Apple soda, Bahrain's soda, and etc.
Atlantic Station: Cirque du Soleil
And the quest is not yet over!
We took the train to get to Atlantic Station where Cirque du Soleil performed Amaluna. It was my first watching the circus so I was very excited! Onyinye on the other hand was quite surprised on how we managed walking around, without cars. We exercised a lot for this trip!
Atlantic Station was a shopping district with restaurants and theater inside. We decided to have dinner there while charging our phones. (Google Maps apps do waste iPhone's battery).
Cirque du Soleil's venue has the classic tent style. It was huge and covers a lot of space. At the same time, the tent is stable and stayed on the ground. On top of that, it's also easy to be removed and reconstructed for their next performance at another place.
Inside the tent, Cirque du Soleil has transformed an empty stage to a world of fantasy. The green and blue lighting combined with exquisite decorations made you feel that you're inside of a lagoon. Amaluna itself is a love story between a queen's daughter and a stranger. One of the most memorable acts for me is when an actress danced while balancing palm leaf ribs.
I highly recommend Cirque du Soleil to anyone who loves art performance. They are professional dancers with graceful yet daring moves. Currently, the Canadian origin Entertainment group has various shows they're touring for across the globe.