Monday, June 13, 2011

Eureka Springs: The Town

Eureka Springs.  I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm already missing the place.  When Oz and I visited 10 years ago, the trip was enjoyable but not necessarily memorable.  We didn't really do a whole lot of exploring, and my memories are pretty vague.  There are a few pictures but nothing really great.

This time, I did better.

One of the main highlights of Eureka Springs is the Crescent Hotel.  Any "Ghost Hunters" fans here?  Yup, they've been there.  They caught quite the interesting image, too.  The Crescent is quite old, and even just walking into the lobby you can sense that if there weren't spirits here, there'd be something wrong.  There are ghost tours at 8 p.m. nightly, but Oz and I didn't attend one.  It just seemed improper to start a ghost tour while it was still light outside.  I did take a bunch of pictures of the premises, though.  The shot above was taken from the end of our B&B's dead-end street.

The ivy that grows up the sides of the old building really complement the stonework,

but there are some newer areas, too.  The old and the new blend well together.

If you go up to the fourth floor of the hotel - there's a cute little Art Deco lounge up there where you can get drinks and/or lunch or just come up to sight-see - there is a great view of the mountains and some of the other highlights of the town.  That building is the local Catholic church.  Oz and I walked down to see it since it's not very far from the Crescent.

To get to the church, you first have to pass this statue of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.

Then you pass the Stations of the Cross...

... and the rectory.  I was confused by all the coins while I was there, but I googled it and discovered that there is apparently a local legend that says if you toss a coin on the roof and it stays there, you'll be granted a wish, but if the coin falls off, your wish isn't granted.  I have to say I agree with Oz's assessment here:  "I wouldn't want to be the priest.  Imagine trying to take a nap and all of a sudden you get coins falling like hail on the roof." 

Still, it was interesting.

Near the church and the Crescent, Oz and I discovered this path.  It had a little sign next to it that said, "Magnolia Path - to shops downtown."

It was a pretty little path, though my calves and thighs did not appreciate how steep it was.  After all, what goes down must come up.

We passed this house for sale on the way.  I could never live in something that color, but Eureka is full of them.  It's part of their city.  It's like a lifesize dollhouse painted by an exuberant 7-year-old.

There are lots of stone buildings, too.

... and stone walls.  This picture was taken at the park near the center of town.  They have a little amphitheater there where they show movies during summer.  So far, the town looks really old-fashioned and staid, doesn't it?  (Well, except for perhaps the paint jobs on the houses.)

Then you get into the shopping district.  Staid it isn't.  "Eclectic" is the word I might use.  There's not a chain shop in sight, but if you want it, you can probably find it somewhere.  Just ask the shopkeepers.  They'll tell you.

I'm not sure how I caught this street so empty.  Especially on weekends, the streets are fairly busy.  Driving is something you do carefully around Eureka, because the two-way streets are often only wide enough for one car at a time.  They have a trolley that's priced at an extremely reasonable rate, and it goes all over town.  Oz and I didn't use it because we did a lot of walking, but I can see where it would be a handy-dandy service.  Oz and I walked... and walked and walked and walked.  And shopped and shopped and shopped.

When we got tired, we rested on some of the benches that were strewn around. 

And when we got really tired, we went back to the B&B.  Like I said yesterday, it was relaxing.  Just like a vacation should be.

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