Notre visite a Roanoke a été relativement brève et le temps plus ou moins de la partie. Du au marathon je ne pouvais pas prendre le risque de trop marcher le jour avant. Après le marathon je n'avais aucune envie de marcher plus de 20 minutes ce qui nous a laisse relativement peu d'options pour visiter. Mais si il y a une chose que nous avons vite compris c'est qu'il nous fallait aller voir l’Etoile. Située a mi-parcours du marathon je savais que j'allais la voir en passant. Elle nous faisait déjà de l’œil depuis la fenêtre de notre chambre d’hôtel. Nous y sommes donc revenus après la course pour non seulement la voir mais aussi profiter de l’incroyable vue sur la ville (photo ci-dessus).
Our trip to Roanoke turned out to be fairly short and the weather more or less cooperative. Because of the marathon I couldn't risk walking too much the day before. After the marathon I had no desire to walk more than 20 minutes, which left us will few options as far as touring the town. But if there is one thing we understood quickly is that we had to see the Star. Located at the half-way point of the marathon I knew I would go by it during the race. It was already tempting me from the window of our hotel room. So we went back after the race, not only to see it but also to see the amazing view over Roanoke (see picture above).
But it wasn't just the nickname of the town that gave way to how important it was, it was also the numerous stars in town we found such as on the ground or the back of chairs. It is indeed THE symbol of Roanoke. The star is lit at night. It can take several colors: white, red, blue or a mix of all three. For us it was white. But I tested and it's turned off at 4am.
We did try to get a picture of both of us under the star. However the person to whom I asked"Can you take a picture of the two of us with a star?" -even with the big camera he had around his neck-did not know how to frame the picture.
Besides the star I also wanted to go back to the summit of Roanoke mountain on the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I only had a glimpse of the view during the race. Being a little crazy I also managed to convince Hubby to go to the true summit, only a few hours after the marathon, thankfully it was only a few minutes away from the parking lot.
We didn't have the opportunity to hike much, but the Roanoke Valley is full of hiking trails we want to try out. One of them being McAfee Knob on the Appalachian trail.
The city center is nice. It's obviously bigger than Asheville and there was a nice atmosphere there Friday and Saturday. A lot of bricks, a pretty market and a few good restaurants can be found there.
Il y avait du monde pour le Brunch. Nous sommes restes a l’extérieur de la ville durant notre séjour mais je pense que si on devait revenir a Roanoke je tenterais bien l’hôtel historique.
We did really love the Hotel Roanoke, a Tudor style building which has been added on over the years. Originally built by the railroad company, the hotel has had several owners. It is now owned by Virginia Tech University but managed by Doubletree.We saw a lot people seated there for Brunch. While we chose to stay outside of town during our visit, I think if we were to come back I would like to stay in the historic building.
The lobby was full of Southern paintings and frescos. My Southern husband of course asked me to take a picture of him with General Lee.
From the hotel we could see St Andrew church. We would have gone there but my legs did not agree to it after the race.
Another symbol of the town is the Wells Fargo Tower.
Behind which one can see.... the Star of course!
The town's economy was based on the railroad industry for a long time, especially the Norfolk Southern. While the city is trying to get away from the railroad town image, they don't forget where they come from either. The marathon arrival was along the railroad track. Along the track were several signs talking about the railroad. One thing the Norfolk Southern fired no one during the Great Depression. No wonder the city owes them. The city center connects with the Roanoke Hotel via a covered bridge from which one can in fact admire the railroad track.
A Norfolk Southern train seen from the MLK bridge.
While we enjoyed Roanoke, it's not Asheville. Or really it's Asheville fifteen years ago. The city center is full of empty buildings. As we walked we couldn't help but see it with our Asheville eyes thinking everytime: "this would be a great spot for a restaurant/shop/gallery". While the town is widespread and we saw many people the first two nights, it was so quiet on Sunday morning. Let's just say the city has a lot of potential and room to grow.
As the Martin Luther King bridge say: Dare to Dream. We actually ran under it right before the end of the Marathon.
I think we'll be back in Roanoke or the area in the future, if only to go hike.
Restaurant prefere/ Favorite Restaurant: Blue 5