Indiana is one of those states about which the general public usually knows very little. Frankly, having visited the state, I still cannot claim otherwise for myself.
Our first few destination in Indiana awaited us in a little place by the name of New Harmony, just across the Wabash River from Illinois. The town’s main attraction is the Labyrinth, a sizable hedge maze built by a Rappite group in the 19th century. What we had not realized was that there would be multiple labyrinths in the area, such as the Cathedral (pseudo-)Labyrinth that we accidentally discovered first.
Omnipresence of labyrinths is further observed while strolling through the central streets of New Harmony (based on my assumption that the image on the wall represents a maze and not two hemispheres of a human brain).
All in all, this is a cute tiny place.
With the help of locals we eventually found the main labyrinth. Despite the good looks, the structure fails as a navigational puzzle due to the abundance of shortcuts.
Another popular New Harmony attraction is the Roofless Church. Though unconventional, this installation is technically a misnomer: having no walls rather than no roof, it would more appropriately be called a wallless church.
Next, we set our course for Santa Claus (pardon the unintentional rhyme). To me, Indiana certainly did not associate with oil mining, but here is something we spotted on the way.
As could be easily deduced from the name, everything in Santa Claus is about Christmas. The craze begins with street names
and extends to outdoor decorations (like this statue outside the Town Hall),
shops (like Candle Castle on the photograph), and so on.
Besides a Christmas-themed store
Candle Castle is also some sort of children’s entertainment center. Christmas being a seasonal occurrence, I wonder if kids actually enjoy returning here throughout the year or if being stuck at a “North Pole station” quickly gets old.
West Baden Springs
Before calling it a night we made a late stop at West Baden Springs Hotel in the town of the same name. A very respectable establishment.
The following morning we hurried to Bedford for an excursion of the Bluespring Caverns. The place is unique in that it harbors the longest underground river in the U.S. The caves were not the most scenic, but the experience of navigating through the quaintly shaped passages looming over the muddy waters was fairly entertaining.
The remainder of the day we wanted to devote to Indianapolis, so that is where we headed next.
If there is any charm in Indianapolis, then it must be due to the Central Canal, as the city is otherwise characterized by bad roads and scarcity of places of interest. Garfield Park and Gardens is certainly among them.
Besides the gardens, the facility also accommodates a lovely arboretum.
As I mentioned, the Central Canal is probably the best feature of Indianapolis. It runs through most of downtown and is crossed over by dozens of little bridges.
Some other finer locations include the site of the Indiana State Capitol
and the Monument Circle.
Scottish Rite Cathedral’s peculiar design makes the building appear completely differently from two orthogonal perspectives.
A few more occasional pleasant sights.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis pleases the eye with a creative exterior design.
To further entice young crowds, the museum installed catchy artwork right in their vestibule.
Before the close of the day we made a stop at the Indiana’s Crown Hill Cemetery, which was, sadly, closed,
and the Ruins at the Holiday Park, which, though ruins alright, could hardly qualify for the title of a landmark.