Sunday, August 15, 2010

Atlanta: Cola, crabs and CNN

Atlanta was a city I’d never given much thought to, but as we found out it has some neat attractions that don’t have much in common with each other.

Atlanta is the birthplace of Coca Cola and home to CNN Headquarters and an impressive aquarium.

We pulled up to our hotel just after 2pm and despite what the outside and surrounding area looked like it was nice and basic on the inside and close to the above attractions.

I found the people of Atlanta friendly and helpful – if you look even just a little lost you’ll have plenty of offers for directions.

A 10 minute walk away was the World of Coca Cola - part museum and part corporate showpiece. Oh, and you get to try over 60 different types of Coca-Cola drinks from over the world and you can have as much as you like!

Even as someone who thinks Coke is revolting, I found the collection of Coca-Cola advertising and products through the years fascinating though it would be in nice if they included more of the history – how did the inventor come up with the flavour? How did Coca-Cola become such a large, multinational company?

The museum features a large collection of Coke themed art - check out the NZ bottle in the backgroud...

Once you’ve toured the exhibits (or before and after if you’re like us) you come to the tasting room.

Divided into pods by region, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America, you can sample your way around the globe.

Overall, Asia and South America had the nicest drinks (ummm to the Chinese fizzy watermelon drink) while Africa and Europe were largely hit and miss (Italians are sick with their drink of choice!).

Once you’ve sampled to your heart’s content you can pick up a free souvenir bottle of Coke made right there in the building.

Still recovering from the sugar high of the previous day we walked through the 1996 Olympic park to the CNN building.

The massive building has its own food court, hotel and shops. It would be a great place to work if you could get passed all the tour groups trotting by your office window.

The majority of the shows are filmed in the Atlanta studios (including AC 360) as is the CNN website and radio stations. Larry King is shot in LA while several opinion shows are made in New York.

The hour long tour goes by fast and you get to see quite a lot of CNN including listening in on the director and crew working on a live show and watching a presenter live in the studio.

If anyone who works at CNN reads this feel free to hook me up with a job at the London bureau.


Over the road, the Georgia Aquarium holds a collection of thousands of different species of fish and marine animals.

Exhibits include tropical, fresh and arctic water sea creatures including a chance to pat small sharks and stingrays.

Thankfully it wasn’t too jam-packed and it kept us entertained until closing.

1 comment:

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