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12 March, 2014

A Night in Nashville

One night in the home of Honky Tonk – an update from one car as the convoy hurtles down the freeway…

Boots, stetsons and the Johnny Cash museum - it's Nashville!

Boots, stetsons and the Johnny Cash museum – it’s Nashville!

After a civilised getting-up time this morning we picked up two hire cars from Cincinnati airport, in order to head to Nashville. Thankfully American cars have plenty of room for six people and six suitcases – it wouldn’t be possible in the UK! There was a school-game-style standoff while ‘teams’ were picked for the cars, but luckily all embarrassment was spared as it was decided eventually on suitcase size and, as far as we’re aware, no one was left standing on the tarmac.

Having a four-hour journey ahead of us, the next thing to look forward to would be lunch, and we had several abortive forays into promising-sounding roadside towns, finding alarming signposts (see below) but no sign of lunch.


We pressed on to the quaintly-named college town, Bowling Green, and found the perfect spot for an al fresco lunch in the 26°C sunshine. (We all very virtuously had salads in preparation for what would be a big meal in the evening but discovered much later that the other carload had ‘accidentally’ had an enormous lunch – easy to do in America).

It seems like we were remarkably lucky with the weather – there was evidence of snow on the pavements, suggesting the boiling sunshine had only arrived just before us! The weather also led to a frantic hunt for shops in which to buy summer clothes as we’d all packed according to the then weather forecast and loaded up with wooly jumpers!

photo 1

The other carload was commanded by Captain Jim, who likes to run a tight ship, but we realised quite how tight when we arrived over three hours after them! (Not helped by a pile-up on route I65 which meant more spontaneous sight-seeing of random American towns).

The evening saw not just the biggest meal of the tour so far, but perhaps the biggest meal some of us had ever seen, as well as possibly the most unhealthy (Ben’s battered and deep fried steak being a highlight). In fact there were some among us who feared it might be our final meal if we actually attempted to eat everything on our plate.

photo 19

We had a bit of a wander around Nashville in the balmy evening sun and couldn’t believe how lively things were so early in the evening! The main street, Broadway, is lined with bars, all of which have live music, and Honky Tonk Row is buzzing with various live acts competing in adjacent bars.

photo 15

Honky Tonk Row

It felt a bit strange to be there not to do a concert, but we resisted the urge to experiment with country/renaissance crossover and saved our voices for Thursday night in Jackson…