7th - 9th September!!
07.09.2011 - 09.09.2011
And I was walking in Memphis!
That Line has never been more true for me as I stepped off the Bus and into my next destination, although the line didn’t last long as I decided to get a cab to my Hostel, so for the next 15 minutes I was ‘Riding in Memphis! I arrived at the hostel with my phone fully charged, (which is a first) I made sure I had the correct code and entered the Pilgrim House Hostel, (review at the end!)
I paid for two nights, costing me $15 a night, which is so cheap, but the conditions of the hostel were that I had to do chores each day, they already had one set out for me for that evening, which was kitchen area cleaning, so after setting my stuff out in my dorm room I started, and I was cleaning in Memphis! ( I apologise to keep repeating this but I just want to tell you how impossible it was to get that out of my head all the time I was there!) After my daily chore I had a small walk round the streets where the hostel was, then bed… and I was sleeping in Mem… Ok ill stop from now on!!
In the morning there was another chore waiting for me, Hanging up the washing! (I felt very at home) then I went for another run and showered before heading out just before 10,
After speaking to the hostel people, they said I should get a taxi into downtown, the buses were unreliable and to walk would be too far, so I decided to walk!! It wasn’t too far to walk, although it did take me close to two hours (this was including a stop at a fruit shop, where I only spent $1.99 for 3 apples and 3 plums woop woop to money saving!)
Memphis wasn’t one of my original stops on my tour so I hadn’t researched it as much, I soon found out it was the reason Elvis was so popular, along with Jonny Cash and many other Bluesy/rock and roll acts! I started my Memphis tour at Sun Studios
- The tour is $12 but 10 with a student card, totally worth it.
Sun studios is where Elvis recorded his first ever track, before making it big with another record label, the tour was inside the studios and a room full of the history of Sun studios, and the artists that had made there way through it. It was such an interactive tour with different tracks being played and seeing where Elvis actually stood (according to pictures) whilst he recorded his first major track. Already Elvis and Blues music was becoming a lot more enjoyable for me to listen to!
Dominoes square Pizza and a coke was my lunch choice once eaten I decided that the only way not too feel guilty for eating would be to walk back later on rather than any other method of transport! After eating I rode the free coach service that travels round all of the Elvis/blues places,
- this bus goes at half past from sun studios and on the hour every hour from Graceland!
It was a fantastically fun bus with videos of Elvis and others playing on a TV screen at the front, again i was becoming more and more a fan of Elvis and his fun performances, quick wit and charm!
We arrived at Graceland, which took a moment to take in, it was huge with so many different places to visit, I guessed most of them tourist traps but some seemed genuinely interesting, I bought a Platinum pass which got me into 6 of the attractions…
- cost me $31.50 with a student ID not sure whether it was worth it, in hind sight I would’ve chosen the lesser option which would cost 27 with student ID
Graceland estate had a self-guided headset tour so I took that option and headed up to the magnificent place, Elvis certainly knew how to live, We couldn’t go upstairs, privacy and all that jazz, even the TV show cribs weren’t allowed up which shows commitment! The downstairs was enough, with other input from his Daughter Priscilla, it was a great tour, seeing how Elvis lived and stories of the pastimes he spent in the rooms, truly magical experience (using words like magical means I was totally sold on everything Elvis) Finally we got to see the grave area where Elvis and his parents lay, it was a really powerful moment! Over the last 4 hours id gotten to know this wonderful guy and then his grave.. How sad, some people were stood there with tears in their eyes which really made it even more emotional….. To lighten to mood I did find one poem from and Essex girl who had rhymed superbly until she tried to rhyme, pictures with bitches! That certainly went down a treat with me
Apologies for the language, but that line has stayed with me until now so it deserves to be in here, plus I felt proud to be British!
Finishing that part of the tour I also saw some of the things Elvis and others said about him in the media, these stretched from testimonials to small ad campaigns that referenced things like a pair of shoes that would make you dance like Elvis! Also saw two of his planes, (he must’ve have been absolutely minted! Although I did learn on the tour that he was so charitable with his money, seeing cheques written to individuals and companies! (More points for the Elvis is a legend pot)
More Elvis tunes as I rode the bus back to Sun studios and then a long walk home to burn off the earlier dominoes and also to find a camera charger as I’d lost mine somewhere in transit!
Friday morning and it was decision time, after my morning chore of sweeping the kitchen area, which I must say I did very well! I made my mind up to risk taking all my bags to the civil rights museum (in a cab, I can’t walk 4 miles with that bag its huge!) and hope I could leave them somewhere!
- it cost $11 with a student card and I certainly could leave my bags, in fact they seemed happy to be doing something other than… nothing!
The civil rights museum is housed in and next to the motel Lorraine where Martin Luther King was shot, it is a very moving place and really makes you think of the struggle that went on throughout the decades and even centuries, then showed a film featuring a man who was with King at the shooting, and his account of everything leading up to it. Again a very sad but also motivating piece of film.
I left with little time to spare for my bus so I missed the other side of the museum but from what ive heard it is equally moving, so it gives me a reason to be heading back to Memphis, not that I need a reason Memphis has been a beautiful place to be for the past two days, for the 9 days ive spent in America every single one has been amazing, so let’s keep up the good work U.S.A
- The Pilgrim House Hostel was very open plan and a really relaxing place to live in, the daily chore actually made you feel part of the hostel, everyone mucking in together, with free coffee and pancake mix on a daily basis, a huge living area to read and exchange books, I really really enjoyed staying here, the only problem is that is a little out of town for my liking, depends if you like a good walk or paying $20 a time for a cab!