To get to Memphis we unwisely chose to take the Greyhound bus. This should definitely have been a one off never to be repeated experience! Lets just say the other travellers are on the scary side.
Unfortunately we also had a Greyhound booked to San Antonio later in our trip. Oh well something to look forward to!
Once we arrived things improved. as it was very late we got a taxi to our very nice central hotel next to Beale Street. A walk along here gives you a choice of music and street entertainers. You carry your drink along the street as you go.
We visited the National Civil Rights Museum. Its at the Lorraine Motel where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated. Here you can see the history of the civil rights movement from the seventeenth century to the present day. The Rosa Parks bus scene was particularly effective. We had to queue to get in but its popular because its so good. One of the best museums we’ve been to.
Rock and Soul
The Rock and Soul museum is also worth a visit. It also tells the story of people overcoming hardship and racial prejudice to make great music. There are displays of old radio gear and juke boxes and lots of old music to listen to.
We went to Graceland on the free Sun Tours bus not really knowing what to expect. The site is huge and if you haven’t worked it out beforehand its quite confusing. We chose to just see the house and this was enough for us, although there are lots of extras for the real Elvis fans. You get a timed entry ticket and you do shuffle round a bit with the crowd but it was fascinating. Over 20 million people have visited since the house opened in 1982 most of them on the day we were there!
We saw the lovely entrance hall and the living room. The pool room has four hundred yards of pleated cotton on the walls and ceiling, must have been the height of fashion at the time. The famous jungle room was used as a recording studio. It’s a bit much, but the creepy china monkey was the worst. Then you walk outside and see the pool in the garden. I think compared with today’s top star homes it is quite modest and tasteful.
There is a huge choice of souvenirs, T shirts , books, key rings, and of course music.
I chose a postcard of the man himself- it is bright pink.