Today I am sharing a weekend travel blog yet again, and this time we escaped into the mountains. Summers are really becoming a little too much down south and we desperately needed a break. It was the wedding of one of our friends in Asheville, NC and we thought- what better occasion to visit this place than now? It was a quick trip with a bit of a hustle, but much needed and really refreshing.
I was fortunate enough to have planned a small photo-tour guide with ‘Shoot My Travel’. It’s always overwhelming to visit new places and if you have someone local to show you around and also click amazing candid pictures while doing that… how perfect will that be?
‘Shoot my Travel’ actually provides this amazing service and they have great options and packages to choose from. So whether you are going on your honeymoon, or for a trip with friends or just backpacking solo, you can pick a package and book a photo- city tour to have your travel captured.😍
They have about 250 locations across the globe and you can #PackAPhotographer, where ever you travel. 👍🏼 So basically, you pick your destination, then choose the photographer from the listed ones, all the communication happens smoothly through email & phone. After 24-48 hours of the shoot, you get to pick your fav photos from the edited ones sent by the photographer and you get the download link. Just as simple as it sounds.
We coordinated with our photographer and selected the two most scenic and popular tourist places to visit- Craggy Pinnacle hike and Biltmore estate.
We drove around 5.5 hours from our home to reach our Airbnb in Asheville. After crossing Atlanta, the views got better at every turn. You can see the Smoky Mountain range and clouds floating around them (made me understand the origin of the name of the mountains 🏞.)
It was around 11.30 in the night when we were finally able to rest in our Airbnb. And the next morning, we woke up at 4.30 to catch the sunrise at Craggy Pinnacle Hike, Asheville. Being a heavy sleeper🙈 and also after 4-5 hours of a long exhausting drive I was not really sure whether I would be able to wake up on time, but I did- for the hike and the unmissable sunrise over the mountains.🌄
After the Craggy Gardens, tourist center, you take a left and start hiking into this beautiful lush green trail with rare flowers and bonsai trees. It was a 0.7 miles hike which is not very intense. The clouds were stuck in the forests. It made for the most dreamy, magical Narnia kind of location. I could actually imagine film production houses spending so much to create a green, hazy jungle setting like this. And when we reached the top, a little out of breath (because I don’t even workout on a daily basis**guilty**)- it was beyond our imagination- so BEAUTIFUL. It was a piece of heaven right there at the Craggy trail.
We were actually standing in the middle of the clouds… It was spectacular. I am not a morning person, but even after 4.5 hours of sleep, I did not cringe a bit. I was so happy that we made it here and were lucky to witness such beauty in the golden hours of the morning. Probably the first time in my life I had the opportunity to see something like this and I was mesmerized. I could stay there forever.
It was, unfortunately, a cloudy day and we could not witness the sunrise but the feeling of being on top and staring at the infinite gorgeousness of our planet definitely made up for it. The air up there was so pure and fresh. We saw some really cool trees and plants on the way down and tried to take in the wonderful atmospheric fresh air as much as possible.
We had breakfast at a Sunny Spot cafe- they had vegan food options and everything was so delicious! The fries were the BEST I ever had! I actually consumed double the calories I burnt in the 1.5 miles hike.🙈
Later in the day we went back to our Airbnb and took a one hour nap before starting to get ready for the wedding at Biltmore Estate, Asheville. It was a black tie dress code and my first time attending such an occasion. After meeting our photographer Madison at the front of the iconic Biltmore lawn, we got a couple of photographs clicked for memories, as it’s not often that we are so sharply dressed at an enchanting, royal backdrop like this. 👫
The Biltmore Estate, Asheville is spread over 8000 acres. The place is indeed GRAND. I had not imagined it to be so big. It is majestic. There are lush green lands with plenty of wildlife, a lake, a winery, a creamery… you can kayak, bike, horseback ride. The Estate has 2 hotels- The Village hotel and the Inn on Biltmore Estate and some cottages as well. You also have a gift and home decor shops where you can buy wine, books, jewelry, food and so much more.
We then attended the wedding ceremony, with the Smoky Mountain range in the backdrop and musicians playing one of my most fav songs Christina Perri’s ‘Thousand Years’, oh, it was all so pleasing to the mind and soul. The wedding was followed by a formal reception and to our surprise we had Brazilian dancers perform the traditional Samba for us! They lit up the dance floor and got everyone to shake a leg. 💃 🕺
It was such a wonderful night, such bliss. Great food, lovely people around, two wonderful people in love starting on their new life as a married couple, pure joy❣️
I could not have asked for a more rejuvenating weekend. Certainly lifted up our spirits and got us all set for the next week!
I have always loved beaches but recently started appreciating the mountains too. Do share your favorite mountain holiday locations. I would love to add some to my bucket list! See you in my post!