18 Jun 2017

I've been to Gracelands,Gracelands.

The final part of my recent southern American roadtrip-see earlier posts below took me to Memphis,the start of the Delta region and then upto Chicago and the flight home.
Memphis is a great old city and there is plenty to see for two days . It was once a major cotton trading port with the world's biggest cotton exchange. Now the biggest industry must be tourism as the blue rinse set pour out to the great Gracelands tourist facility in their thousands every day. You cannot wander round at will. It is highly regimented -you are shepherded here and there like a giant kindy class.The Elvis mansion is worth seeing and it is more tasteful than I had anticipated but it is expensive. Even a very simple chicken roll-chopped chicken and mayo-in a hot dog roll-cost over US$9 in the cafe. I was expecting to buy a fried peanut butter,banana and jelly sandwich the king's favourite food but I was disappointed. The Elvis estate are certainly milking the legend as hard as they can but who can blame them. You only get one Elvis in your lifetime.
The place to stay in Memphis is the Peabody Hotel. It a heritage building,exceptionally well run and it has the amazing duck spectacle see Peabody Ducks
As well as Graceland and the Peabody ducks there is the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel -the location where Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.This is a fascinating museum and the exhibits are very well presented.
Beale St is blues central and another must see. One from left field is the Memphis Cotton Museum. I know it sounds dry but it is in fact very interesting and it is located in the original totally preserved cotton exchange.Those were the days when Memphis was really rich.
Throughout the delta region on a weekend locals set up roadside barbecues selling to passers by. Driving north from Memphis to Chicago we pulled into Charlston, Miss, for fuel and came across Amp in his serious barbecue rig beside the road. He was most generous and as well as allowing me to take photos insisted on me trying from his beef selection. It was delicious.Thanks Amp.

The Peabody ducks
Beale St

Beale St

Lansky's Beale St-taylors to the king.

The king

Graceland visitor liason hostess. She checks that you don't leave Graceland with any money in your wallet but she does it with a charming smile

The Mississippi
Lorraine Motel-National Civil Rights Museum. The balcony to Room 306 was where he was standing when fatally shot .
Amp in his serious barbecue trailer

Amp's pick up truck

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