Tennessee State Flag

Tennessee

Day 11 - 30th May 2012

Tennessee State Flag

Memphis to Gatlinburg 

Sun Studio, delayed in Nashville & Mayor Crabapple

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It was time to tackle our first really long drive of the trip, 430 miles from Memphis to Gatlinburg (plus a diversion in Nashville).

Checking out of the hotel, probably our favourite from the whole trip...






The Pyramid Arena - Memphis's white elephant - it's an icon, but it has been empty for years, but is due to re-open in 2013 as an enormous hunting, fishing and camping shop...




Having really enjoyed the musical experiences in the city, we wanted to make one last stop at Sun Studio before we left Memphis...




Cafe bar in Sun Studio...




Eldorado the tour guide was excellent and even though it's essentially a two-room tour, it was an enthralling tale and well worth the visit...




Standing by the 'X' marking the spot where Elvis would stand to make his first recordings...




Posing with a microphone that Elvis used, in front of a photo of the 'Million Dollar Quartet' taken in the studio of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis and Johnny Cash during a very informal jam session in 1956...







Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

We spent an additional hour driving around Nashville looking for the Grand Ole Opry, which turned out to be more like a modern conference centre than the old-time theatre we thought it was going to be.

Travelling ever eastwards across Tennessee we reached Pigeon Forge, which along with Gatlinburg and Sevierville nestle on the edge of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains and were a bit of culture shock...





Pigeon Forge, by far the most extreme of the three, is like Blackpool on acid. It's a magnet for honeymooners and people out for a fun weekend...





We'd booked a room in a motel as close as possible to the far more tranquil National Park.

On the balcony which overlooked a weir and stream...




We watched a pair of Collared Kingfishers diving each morning as we had our healthy breakfast (the choice was toast or doughnuts - Miche just couldn't resist those doughies)...






A 9 beer sampler from the Smoky Mountain Brewery, which was only a few hundred yards away...




Next stop - day 12 - Dollywood

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Day 1 - Travel Day 2 - Everglades NP Day 3 - Florida Keys 
Day 4 - Biscayne NP Day 5 - Shark Valley Day 6 - Kayak & Boat
Day 7 - Fossil Hunting Day 8 - Manatees part 1 Day 9 - Manatees part 2
Day 10 - Memphis Day 11 - Memphis to Gatlinburg Day 12 - Dollywood
Day 13 - Cades Cove Day 14 - Mount LeConte Day 15 - Gatlinburg to DC
Day 16 - Washington Day 17 - Smithsonian