Exploring the Raleigh area, Part One
Post by Jimmy Schiemann
I’ve been living in Raleigh for three and a half years now and I can proudly consider myself very well informed about Raleigh’s downtown history and cool things to do. Over Winter Break, however, I realized that I do not know the surrounding area as much as I would want to. I’ve done plenty of trips to locations two or three hours away from Raleigh, but very little to places 20-30 minutes away from NC State, basically because they are so close, one always tends to think “I will visit it some other time.”
On my last day of vacation, I decided to expand my knowledge of the surrounding cities of Raleigh and turn that ‘I will visit it some other time’ into a ‘Today I visit it’. So I took out a map of the Raleigh-Durham Metropolitan Area (being raised in the 21st Century I used an online map) and much like a 15th century sailor looking for adventures in distant and unknown lands, I chose to visit the Great City of Durham, North Carolina, also known as the Bull City.
Before this adventure, I had only been in Durham once, and very briefly. This time I decided to spend a whole Sunday there and enjoy what the home of the Durham Bulls has to offer.
Durham is by no means a small village, it is the 5th largest city in the State of North Carolina and combined with Raleigh it has 1.7 Million inhabitants. It, very much like my dear Raleigh, is a dynamic city with a growing community, a quite a friendly one.
While enjoying yet another beautiful (and not as cold as could be) North Carolina winter afternoon, I followed the signs to downtown Durham. Considering I had no real travel guide – and my internet access through my phone was not available as I suffered from that 21st Century ill called “low battery” – I had therefore to use my imagination and sense of adventure to travel around Durham.
Luckily, I saw a landmark of the old tobacco empire raising high in the sky and so I assumed this could be interesting. I ended up visiting the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, a former industrial complex where tobacco was once King, now restored and transformed into a very interesting mall with great restaurants.
Myself, not a “North Carolinian”, I did not know of the power of tobacco in this area, and was very impressed by what I was able to learn at this incredible ‘Tobacco Campus’.
I realized, that this is one of the many things that makes this area beautiful: being able to make small trips like these (often without much traffic, even during weekdays) and visit for example …. the former Throne of the American Tobacco.