USA Road Trip: Discovering the Deep South

Waking up early within the morning and setting off, with the corporate of some questions: the place will you sleep? Where will you eat? When will you cease subsequent? The adrenaline ranges rise as you climb into the automotive: the roads but undiscovered, the wonders ready behind the following flip, that wow you time and time once more. A profitable street journey will probably be in your coronary heart without end! And what higher vacation spot for an adventurous street journey than the large, large USA? 10 days, 6 states, 2 associates, and an extended strategy to go. Let’s go!

After 11 lengthy hours within the air, we lastly land in Atlanta, Georgia, which welcomes us with its suffocating warmth and spectacular humidity. Welcome to the deep south! After recovering with a pleasant night time of sleep and a waffle – the primary of many – we spend the primary morning within the States exploring town and visiting the World of Coca Cola, the place the tremendous secret recipe for the favored soda has been hiding for the previous 125 years.

As we get accustomed to this new world, we’re additionally able to our journey to start. First cease: Alabama. Equipped with swimsuits and sundresses, we head in the direction of the coast and the white seashores of Mobile. But our desires of reaching the proper tan don’t survive the climate forecast: the limitless blue skies are quickly changed by darkish clouds and tornadoes. Within a couple of minutes, we’re in the course of a monsoon, and suppose we are going to quickly be a part of Dorothy in OZ.

Just the time to greet the ocean, and we’re again on the street. Four hours to go to the French tradition of New Orleans, the place we’ll spend two superb days having fun with good music and good meals. The first morning, feeling daring (or too assured, particularly contemplating the warmth), we determine to observe Keith, a retired lawyer, for a biking tour across the creole neighbourhood of town, its oldest and most charming half. As we go, our new pal helps us uncover the historical past and structure of New Orleans, and we get to completely immerse in its genuine, quiet ambiance. We admire the wrought iron balconies, the brightly coloured homes, the patio – gardens, the freedom buildings, and the bazaars de luxe. And as all people is aware of, New Orleans is likely one of the beating hearts of the world of music: New Orleans means jazz, as a result of it’s right here, within the coronary heart of Louisiana, that this style, nonetheless very a lot alive, was born and developped, and it nonetheless resounds in its streets and bars.

The subsequent cease takes us to Texas, the state by the Gulf of Mexico. Six hours via greenery, and we arrive in Houston – sure, like “Houston, we have a problem”, the message despatched out by the Apollo 13 mission on 13 April 1970. The mission had departed from Cape Canaveral. The message was addressed to the Mission Control Center of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, probably the most well-known on this planet. Everything right here makes you consider that fateful episode, of Lovell, Swigert and Haise, and of the touchdown on the Moon.

Not even 24 hours later we’re on the well-known Route 61 alongside the Great River, vacation spot: Clarksdale, house to blues music and and land of white cotton fields. At sunset, we arrive at Hopson Plantation, our lodging for the night time. Everything right here appears to have stopped on the time when the plantation was nonetheless lively – the rooms are within the outdated wooden and tin seed homes, and the outdated equipment are left to gather rust within the yard. We barely have time to settle earlier than we’re off once more, headed in the direction of the city within the Mississippi delta, which is able to change into a ghost city. In the slender, darkish alleys, the notes of a tragic blues melody may be heard.

After an evening spent with a chilly beer, sitting on rocking chairs and looking out up on the stars, we’re prepared to go away once more. On the street once more, this time in the direction of Tennessee! Our first cease on this leg of the journey is Memphis. We have little or no time so we select to dedicate it to the type of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, on the 40th anniversary of his demise. At no 3734 of the boulevard that took his identify, behind the well-known fence, lies the eccentric Graceland, the mansion the place the King lived till his demise on the age of 42. This is an actual paradise for kitsch junkies like myself: furry carpets, questionable colour combos, wallpaper that includes poodles, and fabric on the ceiling: for those who’re additionally on my identical workforce, you possibly can’t miss it!

We spend the final two days of our journey in colourful Nashville, aka the Music City, the place all people – from locals to vacationers, to nation music aficionados and aspiring songwriters – lives and breathes this type of artwork day in and day trip. Music actually is the blood flowing within the veins of town: take as an illustration the legendary Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry House or the unmissable “blues bars” on Broadway. But Nashville is a lot greater than that: a energetic metropolis with welcoming individuals, wealthy in tradition and historic buildings (and, effectively, okay, an actual life duplicate of the Parthenon). You can’t miss the road artwork that actually signify this stunning metropolis that by no means sleeps: from the Draper James stripes to the well-known “I Believe in Nashville”.

With 1800 miles behind us, drained however glad, we head again in the direction of Atlanta worldwide airport. Time to return house! We don’t communicate, we’re melancholic. We each know this isn’t a goodbye, however relatively a see you quickly, or as they are saying within the Deep South: See Y’all quickly!


Blues Clarksdale
Graceland
Cotton plantation
New Orleans
Waffles!
Mobile ocean
New Orleans
New Orleans
Texas
Nasa, Houston
Diner
Louisiana
Graceland
Elvis Presley's grave
Going inside Graceland
Murales
Chiara
Murales
Nasa
Chiara
Alabama
Nasa
Cotton plantations
Partenone in Nashville

Text and pics by Chiara Scalabrini