We woke up in Dalton, Georgia – which is good because that’s where we went to bed… When you have been travelling for two weeks it can become a bit confusing. After breakfast we decided to head back to Chattanooga to see the train but before we did that we did a quick tour of Dalton. Apparently there was a civil skirmish of some sort and that’s how Dalton was founded. There are some beautiful old homes here – there are pictures included below- and they really do make you think of the history those homes have seen.
Before we left Dalton we washed Ursula as she was quite bug coated – she looked much better when Warren was done. Sandy somehow got sprayed in the process – I’m SURE it was an accident (it wasn’t). Then we hopped into the now clean Ursula and headed towards Chattanooga. The ride was beautiful – the trees are now leafing out and there are flowers everywhere!
Chattanooga is an old city, and the train is an old train. I think we were expecting something a little more reserved than the gaudy painted train that we saw. There were the ubiquitous tourist attractions – souvenir shops, bars, kitschy cafes – and the historic train station is now an hotel. I’m not sure why this seemed wrong. We were expecting something more historic and not quite as histrionic. In any case after snapping a few pictures of the original train cars but not the actual engine which had been painted a gaudy red, green and yellow, we left Chattanooga and headed up the mountain.
Above Chattanooga is the Incline Mountain which has the steepest trolley cable car in the states. We drove to the top of the mountain and watched it come up to the station at the top, but given the droves of people and kids, we opted not to ride this particular trolley. The view from the top was amazing though – you could see all of Chattanooga and the surrounding countryside. There was also a neighbourhood of huge mansions up there on the West Brow – I would not have wanted to be the contractor who had to get all the building materials up that mountainside…
After Incline Mountain we started towards Nashville to see how far we could get today. Once again we wound our way through the state on some very winding roads. When we did hit straight flat highway though, it was a nice change. And the next thing we knew, we came over a hill and there was the Nashville skyline ahead of us. For weeks now we’d been saying ‘we’re going to Nashville!’ and now: here we are! We’re in Nashville Tennessee on April 2nd, the weather a balmy 29 degrees, sun shining, holding hands and smiling. Life couldn’t get much better.
We checked into our hotel, then skedaddled downtown to see the sights. Lower Broadway was magnificent! There was music pouring from every restaurant and bar, people were everywhere – happy, and maybe a wee bit drunk, but country music fans as far as the eye could see. We drove past Bridgestone arena where we will be going to the concert, The country music hall of fame, Ryman auditorium – all the things that make Nashville, Nashville. Amazing!
After a few trips down lower broadway, we headed over to Martin’s Bar-B-que Joint and had some fabulous BBQ – Warren had the beef Brisket and I had pulled pork. Honestly, the best food ever! What’s really cool about Martin’s is that they smoke their meat every day – they do not have a fridge, freezer or microwave on the premises – so once they run out of something they are out of it until the next day when they cook again. Tonight they had sold their last orders of BBQ ribs and smoked sausage so we will try them next time we go.
And that was it for today! But what a fantastic day it was – We’re in Nashville, Tennessee – Music City! We are here now for a week so our blog is going to focus on our tour of the city 🙂