Day 31 Grand Ole Opry

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Oct 18, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, September 24, 2010

After our initial dislike, we had grown in to Gatlinburg. It has its tourist traps, but is in a beautiful setting, where you can walk to everything. We decided to ditch the plastic motel breakfast in favor of some genuine southern food- biscuits & gravy, eggs and sausage. But what really tipped Gatlinburg back into the good books was the neighboring town of Pigeon Forge. This was a strip mall of cheap motels, chain restaurants and "attractions" that made Gatlinburg look antebellum.

Steinbeck once said "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.". So in his honor, we left interstate 40 and took US Route 70 on our journey to Nashville. US Route 70 used to travel all the way from North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast all the way to Los Angeles. Route 66 was called the Main Street of America, and Route 70 was known as the Broadway. We could imagine the wave of western migrants that must have travelled along the road, especially during the Depression, seeking better times in the west. We stopped at a small country cafe for a burger, with locals farmers who ate the same meal everyday in the same seat. The homemade pecan pie was fantastic, and just as described in the old books.

We arrived in Nashville in enough time to organize tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, at the beautiful Ryman Auditorium. The Opry has been running for 85 years, broadcast on an AM radio station across the US. The basic format was four quarters each with different sponsors and hosts, and an array of different country music talent performing two songs each. Antony's favorite was the bluegrass, Ali's was the blues ballad, and Toby danced along to the first three quarters of the show.
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