I love driving, and living in North Carolina has made me appreciate nature more than/equally to high rise buildings in cities like Chicago. I am also getting used to driving without a GPS with help from AAA maps and their trip planner website.
So, yesterday I drove to a small town in south eastern Minnesota called Harmony, with my parents. On the agenda was a drive on the “Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway“. The plan was to spend a couple hours at “Niagara Cave”, one of the best undergroud caves in the US. The cave has fossils as old as about 400 million years, and huge stalactite formations along its 60 meter depth. It is located about 5 miles from Harmony.
While at Harmony, we decided to take a 2 hour long Amish Country Tour. We hired an 83 year old (!) tour guide, and he sat in our car to expose us to the Amish way of life. Truly spectacular. We drove around Amish schools, houses, farms, bakeries, a cemetry, and even interacted with a few people. They are extremely traditional, and consider themselves German, and everyone else around them “English”. I learned a lot about them, and bought handmade soaps, candles, brownies, and decorative stuff. They live in harmony with their “Englishmen” peers, and it’s amazing how the latter would have electricity and cars at their place while the Amish household neither of those.
It was definitely one of the most memorable day-trips I have made in the US.