The birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll and home to the king - Elvis Presley
03.10.2012 - 06.10.2012 27 °C
Our bus journey from Nashville to Memphis was only 4 hours – we arrived in the afternoon and checked in to our motel which was extremely disappointing, especially for the price we have paid (we later realised that we actually could have stayed in the Heartbreak hotel for just a little bit more money – gutted!). It’s non-smoking but a lot worse than the hotel in Orlando (that was cheaper) and the bathroom is pretty grubby! But it was only for 3 nights…! Jonny had a headache so he had a little nap whilst I pottered about and got some things done on the laptop and then we went out for some food.
The next morning we headed to Beale Street and to the Rock ’n’ Soul Museum but we didn’t go in, we just picked up the free shuttle bus that goes to Graceland. We got the Platinum Tour tickets which includes the mansion, the planes, the automobiles, the ’68 Comeback Special exhibit, the Elvis on Tour exhibit, and the Sincerely Elvis exhibit. We decided to go to the mansion first and it was totally and completely AMAZING! I have dreamt of going to Graceland for the last 10 years ever since I first discovered Elvis and I felt so lucky that I was able to see it! The rooms were stunning but nobody is allowed upstairs – when Graceland was opened to the public it was decided that the upstairs would be closed off because those were private family rooms and apparently whenever Elvis had guests he would always greet and entertain them downstairs. It was strange trying to imagine Elvis and his family actually walking around and living in these rooms but maybe that’s because on the other hand you know that there are hundreds of tourists traipsing through it almost every day of the year! It was sad knowing that he had died in a room somewhere up those stairs, sad seeing the piano that he played on the last morning of his life, and very sad seeing his grave. It was a brilliant experience though and once we’d seen the mansion there were lots of other things to see too. The planes and automobiles were very cool and all the exhibitions were really interesting. We pretty much spent all day there so when we got back to Beale St we just picked up some food from a grocery store and headed back to the motel to chill out for a while. Later on we went to check out Beale St at night – there was a live blues band playing in the park area just off the street which was cool and then we wandered down the street looking at all the bars and shops. We ended up watching the band in the park for a while before calling it a night.
The next day we inadvertently had a very lazy morning and didn’t make it out until about noon! We went to the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum which was very interesting, it’s all about how country, gospel, blues, soul, white people and black people came together and made a fusion of music known as Rock ‘n’ Roll. Then we caught the free shuttle bus to Sun Studios and took the tour there. We went into the famous recording studio where Elvis cut his first record and lots of other famous people such as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis all recorded songs. The room still had all the original floor, wall, and ceiling tiles from the 50’s which was amazing and we even got to hold one of the five microphones used for recordings during the 50’s and stand in the exact spot where Elvis stood to record! It was so cool! After that we caught the bus back to Beale St and went and got some food. Then we went to check out the Gibson guitar factory and had a look at all the guitars in the shop – Jonny got quite excited!
Seeing as we had an early start and a 12 hour bus journey the next day we spent the rest of the day chilling out and got an early night.
Next stop – Dallas and Fort Worth Texas, YeeHaa!