Hello, and welcome to one of my favorite places on earth -- Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, the setting for "Rose Hill" and "The Pyramid". We'll be trying to show you a few of the things that we love about this place so much that we chose it as a setting for Gundam Legends!
Aside from the fact that it was incorporated in 1840, there really isn't much that I know about Rose Hill that's official. The wealthy predominately white Christian population chose it as one of their favorite burial places, from the names and crosses and faiths professed on the stones inside. As the name itself implies, roses are planted along the hill that leads to the entranceway. It's a place full of beautiful stretches of grass, tree, flowering bush and stone, intensely peaceful for most, despite the railroad tracks that run by the river right beside it.
If you'll look at the diagram, you'll see why Zechs was having so much trouble! As anyone who is familiar with Rose Hill will know, the diagram doesn't do it much justice. The roads are built for carriages to go through -- not cars -- and they curve around with little side paths that have no concrete sides to guide the way. Instead, there are drop-offs that are sheer, too much for a car not to tilt and tumble over if you aren't very, very careful. Only the main thoroughfares are shown on the diagram, and even these don't show how they almost curve in on themselves sometimes.
If you go in through the gates and straight towards the river, you'll have the opportunity to stop on the crest of a hill. To the left is a beautiful panoramic view of the north side of the cemetery. To the right, if you climb up into one of the gated plots that rests a good two and a half feet higher than some of the others, you can also see a panoramic view of the south side of the cemetery.
Once you've seen that, you might want to drive on down to the end of that road and take a right. As you drive down, you'll see the river on your left and the railroad that runs beside it. In 1994, the Ocmulgee flooded most of Georgia, and it did it again in 1996, although not quite as badly. The cemetery was entirely underwater, and some of the dead floated free and had to be re-interred. Oops?
Further down on the right is the Confederate Cemetery. Row upon row of tiny markers represent the men who fought for the South, for family, for strong beliefs. Some few are Yankees; some few are no more than boys, barely old enough to be drummers or help in other ways. Most died in the battles that ranged up and down the state of Georgia as Sherman ravaged the land, actually coming down as far south as Macon on his march to Savannah. When they arrived and finished bombing the city, the Yankee band went to the local women's college, Wesleyan, one of the few in the world at that time, and asked the ladies to come out and play for them. The ladies declined -- even when they promised to play "Dixie". ~_^
A road leads towards the graves of the Allman brothers -- Duane Allman and Berry Oakley -- but curves around because there's a sharp drop-off there, so you have to turn to get to their graves. Directly behind the person taking the picture *sheepish* is where the disappearing grave from "Rose Hill" happened to be. The picture didn't come out so well, so I'm afraid we didn't include it *^_^*
After you're done there, you can make your way back to the river easily enough, taking one of the tiny roads with the sharp drop-offs or one of the safer roads that have little concrete sides to guide your way. You'll want to turn left then, and follow the curves towards the north. On the left as you round one of those curves, you'll see the pyramid tombstone that's the basis of "The Pyramid". How much of the story is true and how much of it is talent? Ah, that would either spoil it or frighten you, so I won't tell! ~_^
As you continue on, there'll be a little place to park, and that's when you'll see it -- the ravine. It's only a smudge from the road, really. You can see the trees poking up out of it, but little else. It's a short climb down to the ledges that allow you a better look into the ravine, and across the way; Wufei's ledge has a view of the ravine *and* Treize's place, just barely. ^_^ Treize's place, on the other hand, has a much better view of Wufei's ledge! In fact, you can see a lot from Treize's side that's more difficult to see from Wufei's -- most of the ravine, in fact!
We won't venture into the ravine just yet, however! Instead, we'll go down to visit Martha -- the girl who always has flowers in her hands. There's also a panoramic view of what's behind her, yet another large part of the cemetery!
Directly behind Martha is the very beginning of Meiran's ravine. It's shrouded in plants and trees, and it's possible to get in and out of it there, though it isn't possible for Meiran to travel to Treize's place for whatever reason. I don't suppose it ever occurs to her to try and get out that way... *shiver*
Going further down the path that leads past Martha, you'll take a right where that road joins another and go to a four-way stop. Another right leads you down to where the Johnstons are buried -- to Treize's place. The Johnstons had the sides of the hill built to look like mausoleums! On one side, the name is covered in ivy, though the structure itself is still beautiful. On the other, the name is clearly visible! I suspect that the hollow "windows" were bricked up to prevent stupid people from hurting themselves; this place is a favorite hang-out for college students who come to study and pot-heads who come to smoke.
From here, we followed Duo's path. The stones from the other side are particularly treacherous and broken between the walls of the graves that have been built into the hillside there; the stones to the bridge are no less so. As you can see, Meiran's path from the pool leads up to the area where the bricked in walls and the stones to the bridge meet -- NOT somewhere I'd like to meet her, I can tell you!
The bridge once had rails to prevent people from falling and hurting themselves; they've been ripped down, now, though, and beneath are moss-slick rocks with no way to get back up other than to drag yourself back up onto the bridge. From there, it's a direct right and uphill to the mausoleums. There is where he runs up these stairs. Sounds like fun, no? ~_^
In the ravine, water trickles down beneath the bridge; it comes from a source somewhere amidst the plants and trees that block off the beginning of the ravine. Down there, once graced with bars to keep people out (...or is that in...?) is an open grave in the hillside. Maybe that's where Meiran liked to stay when she wasn't chasing her brother! Who knows?
From there, the water travels on until it gathers in a small pool -- Wufei's pool -- which is currently a bit dry, sadly. I was hoping to get a shot with it at its full five and a half foot depth, but the South *is* suffering a drought! Ah, well. There's enough water in there, still, don't you think? Wufei would certainly say so!
As one last gratifying image before we go, we thought we'd show you Heero's can ~_^ As you can tell, his aim was as on-target as always! He's managed to wash away the prophylactic! ^_~
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