If there was one thing I wanted to do in Atlanta Georgia, it was to visit the World of Coca-Cola. Sometimes there’s nothing like an icy cool glass of coke on a hot day, and Atlanta was pretty damn hot and humid.
Armed with my Atlanta CityPASS, I hopped on the MARTA and got off at Peachtree Center. However as I was walking along the street to get my bearings, I noticed something was different.
There were crowds of people lining the streets, and there were barriers keeping them off the roads. There were vans, police and security everywhere.
I asked a lady what was going on. As it turned out, President Obama was in Atlanta giving a speech at the Westin hotel. I contemplated waiting to catch a glimpse of Obama leaving the hotel, but figured it might be a while. I also imagined he would probably be ushered into a blacked out car and whisked away anyways.
The people of Atlanta seemed pretty excited that Obama was in town; one bystander was holding a sign that said “Welcome President Obama 2012. Yes you did!”
I thought it was pretty incredible how large the President’s entourage actually is. How all this security is required to protect one man.
I walked for blocks and blocks trying to find the World of Coca-Cola, and on every street there were police cars, police on bikes, police walking the streets, security vehicles…
It turns out I wasn’t the only one heading in the direction of the World of Coke- I bumped into a girl who was trying to find the Aquarium, which is right next door. We got to chatting and I found out her name was Jessica and she had missed her connecting flight to Columbus, so she was stuck in Atlanta for the rest of the day and thought she’d do some sightseeing.
We ended up visiting the World of Coca-Cola together, followed by the Georgia Aquarium. That’s what I love about traveling- you can meet people and instantly become friends.
The World of Coca-Cola
After passing through security checks we entered The Lobby, which features 6 giant coke bottles with different designs. Here we waited for a few minutes for our timed entry to the World of Coca-Cola.
It began with the Coca-Cola Loft; a treasure trove of Coca-Cola artefacts, including posters and adverts from over the years. We then entered the Happiness Factory Theater, where we watched a short animated film to see a glimpse of the magic that goes into every bottle of Coke.
From there we went to the Vault of the Secret Formula. The cool thing about Coke is the mystery that surrounds the recipe. For decades scientists have performed tests on Coca-Cola, trying to unlock the secret to its unique taste.
I liked this rumour: “Rumour has it only two people know the secret. Their identities are never revealed. They can’t travel together. Each person only knows 1/2 the formula.”
Finally we go to see the Vault where the secret formula is secured. They say the formula is in there, but I wouldn’t be so sure…
Drinking too much soda…
Anyway enough of the sightseeing…what we really wanted to do was taste some Coca-Cola. At the World of Coca-Cola you have the opportunity to taste over 60 different sodas and soft drinks that Coca-Cola sells around the globe. The beverages are divided into stations for different continents and regions- so you just grab a cup and taste your way around the world.
The best ones I tasted were Ice from Korea, and Nestea Ice Rush from China. They were delicious! The worst one that Coca-Cola makes was definitely Beverley from Italy! It was pretty funny to watch everyone screw their faces up in disgust when they tried that soda!
After trying all of them, we realised we had drunk way too much soda. Sugar rush!
On your way out towards the gift shop you receive a free bottle of Coke to take home. I definitely needed a few hours before I was ready to drink any more soda!