Friday night after our journey from Atlanta, our first view of Helen left us speechless.
Helen used to be a thriving mountain town and when things in the logging industry went downhill, someone came up with the idea of turning it into a Bavarian town to promote tourism. We knew it was set in the Alpine style, but the chalet type buildings were just so unusual a sight to see in America.
Saturday was spent exploring the town. We walked down the hill from Loreley and on, reaching the bridge where we watched the people tubing down the river. Even the dogs were taking part - although some looked a little reluctant! The riverbank was thronging with people, sunbathing, fishing, tubing, groups barbecueing.
A little further on and we came to the centre of the town where the majority of shops are and spent a while admiring the beautiful quilts on sale. This area has a sort of square with benches and fountain and souvenir shops. It is also the area to pick up a horse and carriage ride. There were so many people and it was so hot it was nice to return to the peacefulness of Loreley.
The next time we ventured into the town was Tuesday evening and Helen was closed! There was nobody about. There were people in restaurants, but no-one in the street - except us. It seems that the place only comes alive at weekends or festivals.
We used Helen as a base and enjoyed the area, but the style of the town is not at all to our taste.