The home of the blues
Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
119Trip End Feb 28, 2007
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Then it was a long boring drive along the interstate. Boring, but meant we got there pretty quick which was the plan!
Headed straight for Gracelands, having been told i had to visit so i could tell my mum what it was like! No seriously i always wondered what the place was like.
Expected the place to be glamourous and glitzy and packed with screaming women, but it was not like that at all, was much quieter, peaceful almost! Checked out the visitor centre, and unfortunately decided we couldnŽt afford the $30 entrance fee!!! We like Elvis, but not enough to blow our entire days budget on seeing his house! We checked out what we could see from the outside, which is not much as there are too many trees (deliberatly im sure!) and its musical gates. We got a glimpse of his private jet, which you can go inside and one of his cars, unfortunately not the infamous pink cadillac, you have to pay for that priveledge! We also checked out several of the souvenir shops! You name it you can buy it with elvis name on! There was some seriously cool stuff though.
Then we needed to be thinking about finding somewhere to stay. The heartbreak hotel, is the place to stay. It is a hotel recently converted into the heartbreak, just across the road from Gracelands itself, with themed elvis rooms. Since it was a little out of our price range, we decided to check out the campsite behind it! Cheap and cheerful, so got ourselves a space. Was kinda cute, with all the raod named stuff like hound-dog way!
Then after an interesting lunch of crisp sandwiches and biscuits we had a crazy idea that we should cross the border into Arkanas, to say we had been! So drove across the border, just west of Memphis...across a cool bridge into nowheresville!! Seriously there was nothing there! There was a place called West Memphis, but all we could see was a couple of farms and a water tower! We bought a huge soda and headed back! At least we can say we wnet to Arkansas now! Just back across the bridge, not far from the petrol station we bought the soda, Neil happened to notice the fuel gauge was blinking Žlow fuelŽ - oops! As we virtually in downtown Memphis, we had no idea where to find a petrol station. were a little worried, but fortunatley those life-saving people in the vistors centre, which just happened to be right there, helped us out.
Crisis over we headed into downtown Memphis and eventually located a parking lot, and explored a little. There was a funky new mall, with a 20 screen cinema, and several other cool buildings, and the famous Beale Street. Wandered up and down Beale for a while. Was still early so not much happening, but already there were bands setting up in the street and people selling beer from take-away bars in the street! As it was still early and our budget only runs to one beer, we headed down to the water. Was pretty with a bridge to a little island were there was some concert going on. Had to laugh at the cargo train which had stopped blocking all the streets around it. The railway is strange in the US, there are no barriers anywhere and you can literally walk up to the train and touch it!
When we finally could cross the railway we headed back to Beale street, where things were really starting to kick off. People watched for a while then went to an outside bar and enjoyed a pint of blue moon, while listening to the cool band playing in the garden right by us. It was so cool to sit in the street with a beer and good music, watching the world go by! There were now people everywhere and even peole performing acrobatics in the street. There was music pouring from every bar, including one where elvis was playing!
Decided to check out the blues cafe for food, having heard it was good. We had to wait a while, but it was worth waiting for. Ended up sitting at the bar next door, as the restaurant was busy, so there we sat drinking water (yes water at the bar - free water at that!) and munching on the most amazing barbeque ribs and battered catfish. We were even treated to an amazing Blues band for most of our meal. A typical blues band, all black, and one who got everyone involved! Was certainly a true blues experience.
That done, we hung around in the street a little longer, taking in all the fun around us, and listening to a little more elvis, before reluctantly heading back to our campsite.
memphis is definately a place to revist!!!!!!!