A full day in Memphis
Trip Start Oct 14, 2013
35Trip End Apr 13, 2014
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We started our day at the Rock n Soul Museum in downtown Memphis. A very interesting museum, it chronicles the music of Memphis: the blues and rock 'n roll. The tour starts with a short documentary and then you start a self led audio tour through an amazing display of exhibits portraying the history of singers that were drawn to Memphis and the recording studios that contributed to their success. Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, Sam Shepherd, B.B.King, Roy Orbison, and so many more artists were part of the Memphis music scene.
Then we walked over to the Lorraine Motel and saw where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Although the building is now a national civil rights museum, the area of the motel and the balcony where he was slain has been preserved as it was that day in 1968.
Then it was lunchtime
Beale Street is famous for its music; many of the eateries and street corners feature live music. The street becomes a pedestrian mall in the afternoon and evening so that everyone can drink, dance and have fun on the street, a real street party. It reminds us of our time in New Orleans.
We spent the afternoon cruising on the Mississippi River. We took a paddle boat tour that was narrated by a retired history teacher. He spoke for the full 90 minutes we were on the boat, talking about the history of Memphis, the river, the towboat captains, and the natural disasters on this part of the river. The Mississippi flows south from Minnesota to New Orleans but after an earthquake in the early 1800s, a section of the river near Memphis flew north for three days until the fault was filled. Amazing. It was a very interesting way to spend a sunny afternoon.