‘If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name’ – Kendrick Lamar
It’s a well known fact that in The Simpsons they chose the name Springfield because it’s the most popular town name in America and they never had to divulge (or decide) which state it’s in. When you have a country the size of the US you’re bound to come across some weird and wacky place names, however it’s pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit somewhere that shares your own name.
Last time we went to Florida we found it cheaper to fly in and out of Atlanta and drive down. This meant we needed somewhere to stay in Georgia a few days before our flight back home so we weren’t driving some 6 hours just to catch a flight. Imagine my glee to find out that only an hour and a half away from Atlanta airport, was a town called Helen. For the photo opportunities alone, we had to visit.
Dave was skeptical at first, he was concerned that once we’d driven through, had my picture taken with every street sign possible, made various jokes about how expensive it is to park in Helen, there’d actually be very little to do and would be a waste of a few days that could have been spent exploring somewhere actually cool.
Turns out there isn’t a place in America that’s cooler than Helen. It’s an amazingly quaint, kitsch former logging down that was in severe decline so they decided to rebuild it as a Bavarian alpine village and that’s how it still looks today. You can tell it’s super touristy and mostly serves as a weekend get away retreat for the people of Atlanta. We stayed at the Riverbend Motel which is situated directly on the Chattahoochee River where you can do tubing and canoeing and is a 10 minute drive away from the Anna Ruby Falls, part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, which is a lovely little walk.
When it comes to dining options, Helen is a delight; we wanted some wurst, and some wurst we had. We decided on Bodensee Restaurant, because they seemed to offer a decently priced sausage. Saying that, I let Dave take on the sausage fest while I plumped for the equally Bavarian but less artery clogging Schnitzel. However Helen has a lot to offer when it comes to German sausage, mostly of the Bavarian persuasion but they even have a Wendy’s and a couple of Mexican restaurants should you not be a fan of fatty, salty meat.
It was quite an experience being able to visit a town with the same name as me; and in many ways there are similarities. We both have strong European roots, with a nice amount of American in us and we both love a good sausage (steady).
We visited off our visit eating pizza and cake in bed. Well, when in Helen….