Memphis is not a pretty city. It’s gritty, with roads lined by fast food restaurants. It rains a lot, suddenly and biblically. Billboards declare that ‘Elvis lives!’ every mile or so.
I went to a gospel church service on Sunday morning (when in the South, right?) and the music gave me shivers. Gospel is loud and in your face – it’s not a spectator activity. Everyone was clapping and ‘Yes, Lord!’ -ing. People danced and stomped and it made me laugh with delight. I’m so glad I got to see this.
Graceland was a necessary stop, of course. Elvis’ s house is smaller than you might expect, and the decoration really is something. The tour gave quite a good overview of his background and career, as well as plenty of opportunities to listen to his music.
Then there was barbeque. I went to Central BBQ first, and ate ribs so delicious that I could hardly walk back. Double J’s was even better.
I’ve also been binge – reading more of the Little House sequels and pretending I’m a settler. It’s quite comforting.
I couldn’t leave Memphis without two more stops; the national civil rights museum, which was incredible and important, and to hear some blues music live.
Getting downtown took a bike ride – I’m actually quite scared of American roads so this was a challenge. Luckily when I got lost, five men gathered round to set me on the right road (sign placement is ridiculously poor, so it’s often difficult to tell which street is which).
Photos to come.