I have now been to Rock City many times between going up to photograph the birds of prey show, photographing the release of a rehabilitated Peregrine Falcon, taking visiting friends up, shooting the Christmas lights for a local paper, and now volunteering for the Rock City Raptors show.
Usually I spend my time at the Rock City Raptors amphitheater, although I manage to make it to the cliff that has an amazing view. Supposedly you can see 7 states from the overlook if you use a scope and it’s a clear day.
But underneath Rock City, there is a whole ‘nother world for which it is really famous. The property is lined with caverns and crevices that provide for “fat man’s squeeze” and a variety of other interesting places to explore. I, however, have never made it through that part of Rock City. This is because when I’ve had the chance, we’ve either had accessibility limitations with a stroller or we had Tisen with us and I volunteered to stay behind with him so he wouldn’t get upset when he saw me walking away without him. This summer, I’m going to find a little time to check out what I’ve been missing. I’m determined.
In that spirit, when John and Dale asked me if I’d seen Fairyland before, I took the opportunity to see a part of Rock City I’d not only never seen, but never even heard of. John and Dale took me to Fairyland via a shortcut, so I’m not sure I’d be able to find it again, but the entrance to Fairyland was pretty impressive. They lined a naturally occurring crevice with stone and added on to the entrance to a tunnel to make a rather interesting, if not natural, entryway.
There is apparently a long tradition of gnomes at Rock City. They show up as a decorating theme all over the park. I suppose I should not have been surprised that gnomes would also have a big presence in a place called Fairyland. It’s just, well, I find gnomes surprising in general.
While I am generally more into exploring caverns that still look like they did the day they were first discovered, I have to admit I was amazed by the amount of effort that went into creating the series of scenes in Fairyland. As we passed down a dark passage, inside cavern after cavern was a recreation of a scene from the fairytales that were so popular in my childhood (and my mother’s and probably my grandmother’s if not may great-grandmother’s). The figurines and sets were painted in glow-in-the-dark paint and the lighting was black lights. It made for an intense burst of color in the middle of the pitch black of the cave.
One giant room was called Mother Goose Village and had a full assortment of characters from Mother Goose herself to Humpty Dumpty. The whole Fairyland experience was more fun than I expected–and definitely unique.