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We rented a hog at Harley-Davidson of Miami and...

...were heading south towards Key West, driving approximately 120 miles on bridges and small islands on the scenic overseas highway US-1. This is undoubtedly the best ride in Florida.

As Kaj have a great passion for dolphins, we made a stop at Dolphins Plus on Key Largo. Besides being a education and research facility, Dolphins Plus offers public swims with dolphins.

See more snapshots from Kaj's swim here...

When we reached the southernmost point of U.S.A., the sky became more and more cloudy. The hurricane Isidore was approaching, so the obligatory sunset watching from the harbour area, wasnít the hit that it was supposed to be.

But we had a good time in town anyway.

The next day we were heading north, driving away from the bad weather. We took highway 41 along the Tamiami Canal (the picture) and north along the west coast of Florida. Then we drove west through the southern Alabama and Mississippi. Except for a few heavy thunderstorms...

...we came dry-shod to New Orleans, Louisiana and checked in on Place D'Armes Hotel in the heart of the French Quarter, which is the only intact French colonial in U.S.A.
It has been a residential neighborhood since 1718 and the atmosphere is extremely pleasant.

We checked out the French Marked and a lot of the small shops in the area.

Bourbon Street is one big party! There are a lot of bars and there is live music in most of them.

As everybody else, we walked from one end to the other and listened. If we liked the music, we went in for a beer. So it could be a lot of beers. :-)

Our absolute favorite was Big Al Carson and the Blues Masters who played at the Funky Pirate. It was blues with a capital B!

We drove to Memphis, Tennessee via the Natchez Trace Parkway that runs along the old Natchez Trace, which was the old wilderness road that combined the north and the south in the 18th century.

In Memphis the hurricane Isidore caught us up and we got heavy rain for about a day. We took cover at the B. B. King Blues Club, where we got some splendid spareribs. Side order the mashed corn stuff if you drop by. Itís tasty!

There were two things that we wanted to see in Memphis and one of them was the Gibson guitar factory, so we signed up for the guided tour and saw how plain wood was turned into beautiful instruments. I thought guitars were machine made nowadays, but I was wrong. On Gibson, they do things the way that they have been done for more than 100 years and everything is made by hand (except for the pickup holes). It might be one of the reasons why there is more soul in a Gibson!

The other thing we wanted to see was the home of

So we drove Elvis Presley Boulevard to Graceland and signed up for another tour.

We took the mansion tour and saw Elvis' living room (the picture), the TV room, the music room and the dining room plus a large collection of Elvis stuff.

We walked a long corridor and admired the hundreds of gold records. At the end of the corridor, there was even more (the picture).

We ended our tour in a cinema watching the movie Walk a Mile in My Shoes with highlights from Elvis' career. A 22 minutes long commercial for Elvis.

The weather cleared up and we drove to Nashville...

...and checked in on a very nice motel with a enormous guitar shaped pool.

Talking about motels. Kaj and I were cheated on a Guesthouse motel in Mobile Alabama. We checked in using a discount coupon, but the next day the coupon was gone and we had to pay the full price. :-(

Read the full story here...

If you say Nashville, you have to say country music as well, so Kaj and I made a stop on The Stage on Broadway. Well, in fact every type of music is available in Nashville.

Later, we looked at guitars at Gruhn's. Unfortunately we didnít had room for more luggage on the bike. Otherwise I might have bought a vintage Les Paul.

We went to a marked, but except for a bottle of water, a root beer and a postcard with a frog on it, we didnít buy anything.

Talking about frogs. How many frogs can you spot in this picture? Count them and click here...

After a while we got hungry and we bought some very delicious skewers in a stall.

As mentioned earlier, we should have been to Greece on this tour. Well, take a look behind the stall!

In Nashville there is an exact copy of Parthenon, which serves as the city's art museum. So in fact we did see a little of Greece.

We drove into the Smokies.



We were spending the last days of our vacation in the swamps of the southern Florida.

In Everglades National Park we were taking pictures of huge grasshoppers and...

...cute little gators.

Copyright Niels A. 2002   -   To the main page