United States
Alabama

Here you’ll find travel reports about Alabama. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

92 travelers at this place:

  • Day38

    Gulf State Park - Bike Ride

    March 28, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 73 °F

    Brilliant ride on the trails in Gulf State Park. Highlight was the Great horned owl’s nest in the tree and the osprey on top of a pole. Huge campground with great full hookup sites. Nature centre was really interesting live snakes, alligators and lots of stuffed animals and birds.

  • Day5

    Birmingham - Day Two

    June 11, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    There is a nice feel about Birmingham, Alabama. It's small by American city standards with very little high-rise, but I do wonder if we are only seeing a small part of it. Our hotel is in the university district and seemingly surrounded by buildings given over to some sort of health care or health research. It is a post-industrial landscape with a motley collection of buildings, some quite grand and many modern; few with a great deal of architectural merit although there is a very strange turreted 'castle' nearby and a lot of the churches are very grand. Interspersed are vacant plots or rather run down, almost forgotten remnants of a different commercial time. This makes for a strange juxtaposition: grand next to very humble, elaborate against a lowly workshop. From all over the city you can see the remains of the Sloss Furnaces, an ironworks with huge rusting but seriously antiquated blast furnaces and chimneys which operated from 1882 to 1971. By 1971 it would already have been a museum piece for a generation, so how it kept making iron for so long against more modern competition is a bit of a mystery. Now it is a rather ramshackle museum with multiple opportunities to get yourself into scrapes which would cause UK health and safety authorities to have apoplectic fits. The rows of gaping hand fed furnace mouths and the towering rust-red blast furnaces, pipes and chimneys in today's oppressive heat and humidity made me think it must have been a vision of hell when it was working, the heat and smoke making work there an absolute trial. Today, by incongruous comparison, it was hosting the Birmingham Alabama Gay Pride Day with stalls of all sorts, drag queens performing on stage and country music being played in the remains of a huge open factory shed. Having gone to see the museum, we were pleased to have stumbled across this and also were able to amble around the steel works as well with no supervision at all. Coming from the over-regulated world that is Britain today, this gave me guilty pleasure. It also confirmed my suspicion that we are not very good 'gays' because I still feel uncomfortable amongst all this celebration and not sure I feel it represents me particularly.

    Perched on top of a stone tower at the highest point overlooking the city is a giant statue of Vulcan. He also stands atop Sheffield Town Hall and they also call this place Steel City, so I have to make sure I remember where I am. Dating from 1904, Vulcan and his surrounding gardens have recently been renovated and it was a lovely place to visit giving spectacular views over the city. Viewed from here, Birmingham looks like a British city for its size and compactness, set among the ubiquitous forest which has surprised both of us wherever we have travelled. On the hill there was a welcome breeze to relieve the heat and humidity which even so early in the morning was becoming oppressive. Living in these places before the days of air conditioning must have been very hard.

    Driving through the almost deserted boulevards, so untypical of America, we went back to Galley and Garden, a lovely restaurant we had visited a couple of days before, for brunch and it was a decision well rewarded by great food. Afterwards Malcolm and Huj went back to the excellent Art Museum so that Huj could do more towards the course she is following, and Mike and I went back to the hotel, ostensibly for a swim, but actually a lie on the bed turned into a long and welcome snooze.

    Birmingham, scene so some of the worst civil rights events years ago, is reportedly 78% black. It is obviously still a very stratified community because we have hardly seen any black people at all around here and the farmers market we visited yesterday morning was almost all white. Driving out to the Piggly Wiggly supermarket yesterday we passed some what I took to be municipal housing, uniform and not very prosperous looking. I suspect there are areas of deprivation in Birmingham we have not encountered, but one gets a feeling about a place when you visit it and the feeling here is positive. I never expected to say it, but I would come back to Birmingham, Alabama.
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  • Day3

    From Georgia to Alabama

    June 9, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Today we head west to Alabama where we will spend a few nights with friends who have made a new life in Georgia in Alpharetta north of Atlanta. They fancied a road trip to Birmingham and we were happy to join them.

    The drive from state to state was very easy taking interstate 20, but we decided to break things up a bit by turning off onto a parallel highway for 100 miles or so. The road was as densely forested as revealed by the views that we noted from the top of the Hilton in Atlanta. The journey was a little soporific though, mile after mile of strip malls and fast food joints. We stopped for lunch at a Wendy's and asked for a salad. Judging by the size of the other clientele this may have been the first time they had been asked for this in a while.

    Back on the road we crossed through the Talladega national forest and the Coosa River which meanders for many hundreds of miles across the southern states. Finally we were upon Birmingham and headed for the Residence Inn where we were staying for three nights. After a brief swim in the compact outdoor pool, we waited for Malcolm and Huj's arrival with wine and nibbles to greet them. That night we headed to Gallery and Garden Restaurant, one of the many fine choices around the Highland Avenue area. The food was modern southern cooking and was delicious along with the great wines and one too many Espresso Martinis. After zig zagging home we slept very soundly, woken occasionally by the noisy but essential air conditioning.
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  • Day4

    First Day in Birmingham

    June 10, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Woke up with a fuzzy head, what on earth was I drinking last night? Took a refreshing shower and then headed down to breakfast. First experience of southern charm when I called the elevator and shared it with a well dressed middle aged couple. 'Sorry' I said In a very British way apologising for interrupting their journey. 'Not at all' came the reply 'It will be a pleasure to share this journey with you.' In any other accent this would sound sarcastic but with the buttery southern drawl it is quite knee trembling!

    Breakfast was a serve yourself affair and I started piously with fruit and yoghurt but saw that they had a waffle maker and it was game over after that. Malcolm and Huj joined us shortly after and we planned our day.

    First up was the farmers market at Peppers Place. So called because it is where they used to make the syrup and bottle Doctor Peppers soft drink. We parked a little way from the market and ambled towards it in the stiflingly hot sun. We found our way by following the stream of customers leaving the market armed with sunflowers, branches of cotton plant and bags full of locally farmed produce.

    Now, the demographics of Birmingham are very pronounced. 78% of the population are black but if you were to judge it on the visitors to the farmers market, you would have guessed it was just a handful which is sad.

    The market was very pleasant and very local. Brightly coloured, squashes, peaches and berries sit side by side with pickles, preserves and honeys. A local band played soft country rhythms and locals, young and old took partners and danced in a charming fashion. We had an artisan ice lolly of blueberry and basil and tried to escape the searing sun.

    The four of us then headed off to the Birmingham museum of Art. It was an eclectic mix of mostly modern pieces, paintings, sculptures and such. Some were fascinating, others were just plain head scratching. Fancying a sit down, me and Rich found two chairs facing each other at a white table and we pretended to be a piece of performance art mirroring each other silently trying not to laugh. Huj is doing a course to become a museum interpreter for children in Atlanta and wanted guinea pigs to practice on. Rich bowed out but I had a go explaining what I saw in some abstract pieces whilst encouraged and provoked to probe further by Huj. At the end she praised me on my observational skills which made me pleased as punch!

    Feeling parched we went to a bar and had some soft drinks and a few light snacks. Our delightful waitress was from Basingstoke and we asked her what we could order that didn't have many calories. She had to think really hard and ended up with a shortlist of a couple of salads and the hummus plate. They were a good recommendation and just enough. We headed back for a snooze and M&H had a swim in the pool.

    That evening we went to The Bottega Cafe which is one of the best restaurants in town. The other being The Highlands and the hilariously named Chez Fon Fon. The food was excellent as was the service. The martinis were absolutely lethal though and we nigh on staggered down the hill back to the hotel before collapsing on the bed.
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  • Day6

    Piggly Wiggly!

    June 12, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    I have for a long time been fascinated with the Piggly Wiggly chain of supermarkets since first seeing it on Close Encounters of the Third Kind back in the 70s. Celebrating its centenary, this groundbreaking mostly southern chain was the first self service store in the world. They invented shopping carts, priced items and checkouts. The chain's mascot is a cute pig and tshirts and memorabilia with the pig's face on it are collectors items. So I was thrilled to be at the epicentre of Piggly Wiggly land.

    Inside it was a traditional small town grocery store but sold some tshirts and chiller bags which I snapped up.

    Wearing them the next day at Vulcan Park, I was asked where i got them from. There seems to be genuine fondness for the brand. One woman asked if she could take a picture. I gladly agreed, only to be disappointed when she asked me to turn around as she wanted the logo on the back. Oh well, will have to postpone my modelling days for a little longer.
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  • Day36

    Ethnic Cleansing [Auburn]

    January 28, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 55 °F

    Horseshoe Bend Nat'l Battlefield is one of those parks you want to hurry through. The things that happened there are that horrendous. Andrew Jackson learned the art of ethnic cleansing here where over 800 Creek Indians were encircled and killed at a cost of only 50 Americans. This was the largest massacre of native Americans in US history. His success here in 1814 launched him on a lifelong campaign of killing and later removing every Indian east of the Mississippi River. Some people say he was just a man of his time when colonists wanted land to settle, but hard to fathom the brutality.Read more

  • Day37

    Bama, Tuskegee

    January 29, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 55 °F

    A couple day diversion up to Alabama continues (as New Orleans stuff not open on the weekend). I hate to draw stereotypes, but do see hound and pit bull dogs running loose, heard a hound baying all night, and managed to camp next to a train track with a shrieking whistle and roaring train half a dozen times last night. Oiy!

    Visited Tuskegee Institute and the Tuskegee Airman's monument today. Hard to see the long journey blacks have had to travel to be recognized as intelligent and capable people. Ah, the cruel prejudice of our country. What must foreigners think when they visit our monuments? One airman said, "We served our country but they do not serve us" as they returned from WW 2 to Jim Crow laws.
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  • Day37

    Bella Terra RV Resort - Foley, AL

    March 27, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    Arrived yesterday and it was blowing a hooley and a chilly 58F. This is a new resort and parts are still being built. We’re in a prime spot overlooking the lake with a fountain and yes the wind’s blowing straight at us and we can feel the spray. It is lovely though and Stew’s in his element watching the birds, ducks and ducklings, red winged blackbird, grackles, doves, cardinals and more. Shopping day today and picked up our renewal tags for the Coach at the post office down in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, could not believe how heavy the traffic was. Publix had mixed sushi trays, so dinner sorted.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Alabama, AL, አላባማ, ألاباما, ܐܠܒܐܡܐ, الاباما, Alabama suyu, Штат Алабама, Алабама, एलबामा, আলাবামা, ཨ་ལ་པ་མ།, ئەلاباما, Αλαμπάμα, Alabamo, آلاباما, Alavama, અલાબામા, Â-lâ-pâ-mâ, ‘Alapama, אלבמה, अलाबामा, Ալաբամա, ᐋᓛᐹᒫ, アラバマ州, alybamas, ალაბამა, ಅಲಬಾಮ, 앨라배마 주, Alabamm-a, അലബാമ, အလာဘားမားပြည်နယ်, Élábéemah Hahoodzo, Алабамæ, அலபாமா, అలబామా, รัฐแอละแบมา, Alabama Shitati, אלאבאמא, Ìpínlẹ̀ Alabama, 亚拉巴马州

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