Monday, January 3, 2011

Eureka Springs, part 1

Crescent Hotel from the back, and down the hill.
My parents came to visit over Christmas, and to do something different and get out of town for a bit, we took a trip up to Eureka Springs. None of us had been there yet, and I was assured by several co-workers that it was definitely worth a visit.

From the front - well, it used to be the back, but now that we all have cars...
We stayed at the Crescent Hotel, but in a modern cabin/condo, not in the actual hotel building (so no, we didn't experience the ghost that is said to roam the building). We ate at the hotel a couple of times though - the Christmas Day brunch was very good - and met the two hotel cats, Casper and Jasper.

I can has Victorian mansion?
On our first full day in town, Benjamin and I walked from the hotel down to the main shopping street.  Along the way, we passed this house, which is for sale, and which I would buy if we won the lottery. I love the little turrets and the big balconies, and the color scheme. Oh, and the view out over the valley and hills. There are a lot of houses like this in Eureka Springs. I only include one here because this isn't an architecture blog, and I don't want to start drooling again.

See those stairs in the back? We went up those next.
Part of the path we followed was along an old boardwalk sidewalk that led down and then up some of the many hills. The streets are all pretty narrow and it is easy to imagine the town without cars at all. The Google directions to the hotel had us driving what turned out to be little alleys - we didn't actually go that way.  The way we did end up driving was still winding and full of narrow streets and 90 degree turns. Wow! I would not want to drive there in an ice storm!

The town is also full of neat stone walls - structural, not just decorative. This one used to shore up the hill for a house that has been torn down. You could still see part of the basement.

Of course, some of the walls were used for decorative purposes too. Careful Humpty! It is a hard landing.

A lot of the buildings had old advertisements painted on them. You can tell that the Coca-Cola sign wasn't the first to be painted on this wall.

Eureka Springs is home to one of only four surviving Carnegie libraries in Arkansas (the one in Little Rock was torn down in the 1960s. Tsk.) We peeked in the window, but they were already closed for the holidays. Ah well.

Tomorrow: Our visit to the countryside.

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