Hershey, Lancaster and cracker barrel

Trip Start Oct 08, 2013
Trip End Nov 18, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, November 8, 2013

We woke to the bright sunny and crisp morning, looking forward to a quick whip around Hershey Chocolate World and then movng onto Lancaster.

At least at this important tourist destination, there was a free tour, unlike another that will not be named. Its all indoors and on an train ride...a bit low tech and cheesy( or should that be chocolaty) and you would be underwhelmed if you've been to any amusement park. It served its purpose though of explaining how chocolate is made. The pay off at the end is a free sample..whoo hoo!

A quick stroll around the gift shop and we hit the road. We drove to Nazareth to visit a guitar factory. Another free guided tour. This was the Martin Guitar factory and the tours are always fully subscribed. Its first come first seved basis and timed so we had to wait for an hour for the next availble scheduled tour. That was ok as we wondered around the souvenior/gift shop which was strategically placed near where the tours started.

They make both acoustic and electric guitars and have been around since 1833. Famous guitar players that use Martin are from various genres from country to rock. They include: Johny Cash, Joan Baez, Bob Dillon, Eric Clapton, and Chris Martin from Coldplay. The list is long and varied but you get the picture.

The tour was very good, stepping us through the design and production process. The smell of wood mixed with a hint of varnish and a smidgeon of glue was intoxicating. Lol! Actually the wood smell was the most prevalent as where the glueing and varnishing happens is within enclosed areas with lots of air sucker upperers ( you can tell I was concentrating). We were surprised to learn that only 15% of the workers actually played guitar. Go figure! It was great to see the whole factory process. We then visited the museum and stared in awe of of some of the beautiful instruments and read the descriptions and recognise the owners! I am hopeless at these things as I try to read and abosrb everything...the operative word being 'try'! Can't take me anywhere as I dawdle, unless you want someone to dawdle of course!

When we were reay to go, we sat in the car for a few minutes looking at the map and contemplated taking another 'detour' to cross over to another state just for fun before continuing to our next destintation of Annapolis. The deciding factor was a combination of time and toll costs. Although we had one of those automatic things, some of the roads are pretty expensive and we couldn't bring ourselves to pay more than a few dollars and drive for miles to just go into a state and back our agian in a reasonable distance and time.

So we just wave to New Jersey goodbye and head back across and down Pennsylania towards Lancaster. This was Amish country and we looked forward to roling hills, old world charm and horse drawn carriages.

We get a rude shock as we hit what seemed like peak hour traffic. Of course! Its a Friday afternoon on a long week-end and we had hit holiday traffic. Its just like the Brisbane traffic heading out to either the Sunshine or the Gold Coasts on a Friday.

Like any touristy spot, Lancaster was a bit of a tourist trap with lots of tacky souvenior shops, t shirt shops and tours that are obviousy not authentic. We stayed overnight in a rather dodgy place called Old Amish Inn. We stopped in as it was convenient. Only the first word in the name was accurate. The main drag is just like any street in a big town with the usual shops, lots of outlet malls and restaurants.

That night we had dinner at another american chain that my mum recommeded-Cracker Barrel. Very good value, excellent service and tasty food. We were surprised to observe what appeared to be amish people enjoying modern proclivities like Cracker Barrel and also shopping in Walmart,etc. Maybe you can pick and choose what modern things you should access or not.

Anyways, another day of adventure was over. We were starting to realise the trip was nearing the end and we were a bit sad that we have to drop off the rental in a couple of days time.
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sister on

Did you get your photo on a Hershy's wrapper? And give customs a giggle when you declare it.....

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