Travelogue #4: West Virginia

Vest Virginia, USA, A Wanderlusters World

Hello fellow travelers,

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it’s time for a new travelogue. Two weeks ago hubby and I went on a business trip to Buffalo, West Virginia. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t sweat. There isn’t really much to it. But the surrounding region is worth a little peak and some words 🙂

The first thing I noticed stepping out of the car was the humidity. It was like running into a wall. Hubby and I are from a region in Germany that can get pretty humid and the air in summer feels pretty dense, but not like in West Virginia. The second thing I noticed was the lush green hills with their gorgeous forests and the beautiful streets that just wait for you to take a drive alongside the Kanawha and Elk River.

We didn’t have too much time to explore but tried to make the best of it and see as much as we could. We mostly roamed around Charleston. We walked around Capitol Park, made a stop at the Capitol Market and took strolls around the historic City centre, mostly on Capitol Street. And if you’ve asked yourself while reading the last sentence “Is there anything else in Charleston than the Capitol?” then I can tell you: not much.

Please don’t get me wrong: Charleston is a really pretty and nice to look at, city, that is really clean and picturesque, but it is also pretty empty. Or at least it seemed like it. I mean, we live near Detroit and are used to empty downtown streets during the week, but Charleston could have been a ghost town during the weekend. I don’t know where all the people went, but even in Bodie – an actual ghost town in California – were more people than on a Saturday afternoon/evening in Charleston.

All in all, I think Charleston and West Virginia as a whole may be great for families with kids or people passionate about fishing or the civil war, but everyone that is looking for a bit of culture and entertainment would probably be bored to death. I must say, I was a little disappointed, but only until we stepped into Taylor Books on Capitol Street. This cute original bookstore/CafĂ© saved my day when exploring the city. It’s beautiful, the staff is really nice, they have a great used books section and the CafĂ© is really cool. So if you ever find yourself in Charleston go take a look and have a coffee.

And if you ever feel hungry there is Pies & Pints just a few steps away. Hubby and I went there, after a long walk and expected an ordinary pizza place, but boy were we wrong. Pies & Pints has not only some of the best Pizza I’ve ever eaten, but also some of the biggest. We had a 16″ Pizza and a “small” Salad to go with it, but we couldn’t eat even half of it. The small Salad would probably be a really big one in every other restaurant. The dining room in itself was also pretty cool, something you would expect in Chicago or New York and the music is great too, not to mention the really cool and friendly staff.

Sadly we didn’t get to explore as much as we would have liked, but what we did get to do was driving down one of the most beautiful Byways I’ve ever been on. You ride along mountains and the river, see cute small towns and old industrial sites fly by and get to experience a really cool bridge. Sounds boring? It really isn’t. We went down the US 60 from Charleston to the New River George Bridge. If you park your car at the visitor center it’s just a short walk to the two viewpoints where you’ll get a really nice view of the valley and the bridge.

For the really brave, the visitor center allows small groups to take a BridgeWalk. The price is pretty steep, but I can just imagine the views you’ll get walking right under the street level of the bridge. You’ll be secured through ropes while walking the narrow path and you’ll be guided by someone from the New River George Preserve. Sadly we didn’t have the time to take this walk, but from the looks of it, I can only recommend it.

 

I hope I could give you at least a little overview of the Charleston region in West Virginia and I’ll be back at the end of the month with a travelogue about our trip to Toronto, Canada.

Cheers, Simone

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