Holidays and Other Excursions

Tag: Nashville

USA – Deep South – 5

Preserved Railway line Nashville

Preserved Railway line Nashville

Thursday 2.11.23

We have a free day today as far as Great Rail are concerned so we can take it easier.  So our first stop is breakfast – Pancake Pantry – which is just a couple of blocks from the hotel.  It is obviously popular – we are in a small queue, hopefully for not too long.  There are a couple in front of us and when the serving staff emerge they want a table for 6 – which is annoying as we do as well.  However not all 6 people are present, so when the next server emerges we volunteer ourselves to take the table.  An excellent outcome and it is followed by an excellent breakfast, Jackie had been looking forward to pancakes for a few days!

We then walk to the city centre and I go up on the John Siegenthaler Passenger Bridge which passes not only over the river but also over the tracks of the former Tennessee Central Railroad (now CSX) on the far side of the river, but on this side of the river is a station from which the Tennessee Central Railway Museum runs services on Saturdays – so no operations today!

Travellers in Nashville

Travellers in Nashville

Alongside the Country Music Nashville also has an impressive concert hall in the Nashville Symphony Schermerhorn Symphony Center which we pass – with some nice adjacent statutary.

Jackie and I opt for a quiet afternoon – these holidays can be quite tiring and we tend to sleep badly when we changes beds so we retire to our hotel room for a rest this afternoon.

Having braved Broadway Street last night we decide on a different experience tonight and dine at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The best bit was that as we were leaving one of the staff enquired as to our next destination – Memphis and gave us a recommendation for a local restaurant!

USA – Deep South – 3

Jack Daniels - new best friend

Jack Daniels – new best friend

Tuesday 31.10.23

Coach travel today as we move on.  We head in a north-westerly direction through the southern reaches of the Appalachian Mountains.  Only now do I realise that when we visited New England in the Fall some years ago we were also on the same mountain range – but much further north than we are today.  The weather remains slightly grey but it is now mainly dry.

Our first destination today is the Jack Daniels distillery on the edge of Lynchburg.  We have a guided tour of the distillery and are shown the processes.  Plus the secret of Tennessee whiskey  is that it must be filtered through maple charcoal using the Lincoln County Process and then aged in charred barrels.  And with any distillery tour at the end there has to be a tasting of the product – which might not quite be Scotch – but is definitely fit for consumption.

The associated museum tells how Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniels worked with Nathan “Nearest” Green who has now been given the title of the Master Distiller – an enslaved man who taught Jack the trade.  The other major supply is the quality of the water which has been filtered through the adjacent hillsides and provides a very pure water supply.  Alongside this Daniels cultivated a particular image in the clothes he wore –  particularly a long black overcoat and a stylish square bottle.  He was obviously keen on a brand image – and I wonder where Sandemans got the idea of a man in black when “inventing” that in 1928!  We both remarked on the likeness having not long since been in Portugal!

Lynchburg provides lunch and the opportunity to wander around “small town” USA – a small square, a few shops and a couple of places to eat.  In deference to the tourist trade there are some other shops.

Onward to Nashville and the home of Country Music.  Entertainment this evening at the Grand Ole Opry which since 1974 has been sited about 9 miles away from the town centre in a purpose built 4000 seat theatre.  Whilst the place is not completely full most of the seats are taken and dining is a case of buying some food – pizza – and drink and then eating before the performance commences.  Eight acts appear this evening:

Rhonda Vincent, Bill Anderson, Brian Bates, Steven Curtis Chapman, East Nash Grass, Jim Lauderdale, Dylan Schneider, Stephen Wilson Jr.  East Nash Grass were making their first appearance on this stage – and were an interesting change from the others most of whom appear fairly regularly I suspect.  Country music is not to everyone’s taste however but we have now been here and seen it.