United States
Court Square

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

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Birmingham to Memphis

    June 12, 2017 in the United States

    We breakfasted with our friends Malcolm and Huj and said a temporary farewell to Malcolm because we are staying next weekend with him in Alpharetta near Atlanta, but unfortunately Huj leaves for the UK on Thursday to attend a funeral. Driving out of Birmingham was a doddle and the newly completed interstate was a dream to drive on: great surface, little traffic and lovely, green, rolling, forested countryside. During a three and a half hour drive though, the qualities of even such a nice interstate start to pall and the standards dropped when we entered Mississippi.

    We came off at a town called Jasper (the second we have visited in the Americas, the first being in the Canadian Rockies). This was to give us a break from tedium but also to see real life around here and to visit a local wonder, the largest natural stone bridge east of The Rockies. Alabama is one of the poorest areas in America, Mississippi being the poorest, and this drive took us on well maintained roads through mile after mile of largely forested countryside with tiny houses dotted along the way and a few permanent trailer parks. Not much in the way of towns as we know them, it being mainly ribbon development along the roads, but sadly many decaying commercial properties. The most prosperous looking buildings were the churches and we passed an astonishing number of them. We are in the bible belt and a very large proportion of the population are churchgoers.

    Natural Bridge Park was hard to find, privately owned, cost $2 each to get in and was quaintly interesting. The bridge was soon reached and as we stood underneath it was obvious it must have been formed by water, but we had no idea how.

    Back on the road we headed for the interstate as it was slow on ordinary roads. Coming off again we found a burger chain I didn't know, Hardees. Avoiding Burger King (I think they are too soggy), we were very pleased with what we ate, although we had to scour the menu closely to find small burgers.

    The sprawling outskirts of Memphis arrived eventually although we did not know we had passed into Tennessee, and the Maddison Hotel was easily reached once we got away from the traffic. It was maybe 33C and very humid, so we kept to our room for a while before visiting the rooftop bar, a roasting space even with awnings, but with spectacular views of the Mississippi River and countryside all around. After a drink and a chat with some British tourists, we went back downstairs until sunset when again went for a drink in a slightly reduced temperature and watched the most beautiful sunset overlooking the river.
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  • Day7

    Cotton and Ducks in Memphis

    June 13, 2017 in the United States

    Whether it was just the heat or the drink or a combination of both we both had sore heads in the morning. Rich had it so bad he was quite poorly so I decided to go on a little walking tour on my own to find my way around Memphis.

    Even at 8:30 I was hopping between shadows trying to keep myself cool as the temperature was already in the low 30s and the tendrils of humidity started to entwine and exhaust. I first walked to the riverside Memphis Park. At this time most of the benches were still occupied by rough sleepers but it didn't feel dangerous and most people nodded and were courteous. Here, honour was paid to various civil war figures including the president of the confederate states between 1861-1865 Jefferson Davis. The civil war stills hangs over the people of the south generations on, as the sting of defeat and humiliation still exists under the surface sometimes betrayed by their responses to innocent questions.

    Wandering on from there I walked along the river front passing Mud Island river park where you can walk along a scale model of the Mississippi, taking in all the convolutions and oxbow lakes as it makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico. I crossed the train tracks and passed early morning blues music blaring from the Mississippi River Welcome Centre. There was no shade from the sun so I paused below trees along the river bank where I passed an old casino riverboat presumably from Mississippi state that looked closer to being scrapped than restored. I thought briefly of the musical Showboat and sang a bar of 'Ol Man River' before being cut short by an oncoming jogger.

    Further on at Beale Street landing was a large cruise ship sized riverboat which would be heading down to New Orleans taking in the many turns and chicanes of the river. I was reliably told that it costs $4500 for that one way trip. To the side of that was a little paddle boat which did day trips on the Mississippi so I booked tickets on my phone for that afternoon.

    I headed up from Beale Street landing to Beale Street itself where the majority of the Blues clubs are. Of course most were quiet at 9am but the neon was still flashing away in the blaring sun. This is the 'strip' of Memphis and we will return there this evening to sample its atmosphere. I headed back via a Walgreens to get some basics like water and milk and headed back to my patient who was feeling a bit better.

    Heading out together we walked past the sadly non-running trams and through a rather sketchy district to The Cotton Museum at the Cotton Exchange. We had a brief chat with the rather fey ticket seller about the heat in Memphis. He explained that air conditioning was essential but lamented that air conditioning was why people in the south were so fat as they didn't sweat anymore. I suggested that this had more to do with the huge plates of barbecue ribs and chicken which dominated every restaurant menu which he agreed could have an effect!

    This tiny museum allowed access to the now disused cotton trading floor and explained the importance of cotton to Memphis. It was interesting to see the huge pricing blackboard with each days prices logged including those at Liverpool. The fall of the cotton industry has led to huge poverty in the Mississippi delta, some towns there are now practically third world. Of course the real outrageous story is that of slavery and it was explained very well by the exhibits and moving illustrative videos.

    We went onto the Peabody Hotel which is the main 'grand dame' hotel in Memphis. It's unique selling point are the ducks which come down from the roof of the hotel via the main elevators each day and spend it in the pond in the centre of the lobby before heading back up at 5pm. All of this is choreographed by the Duck Master who rolls out a red carpet and trumpets their arrival and departure. All good clean fun and clearly a huge money spinner for the hotel as crowds of people watch this happen each day.

    We then had lunch in a Canadian themed restaurant across the street and soaked up the a/c ready for our time aboard the boat.
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  • Day7

    Boats and Blues in Memphis

    June 13, 2017 in the United States

    All aboard The Mississippi Queen for our 2 hour trip around the Mississippi River. We boarded early and found a tiny space under the canopy on the top deck where we squeezed in with fellow travellers from Germany, Australia, The Netherlands and US. It was an interesting trip under the bridges down river and then into Arkansas waters which the Mississippi borders, all made more informative by the jolly commentator who made it seem like it was the first time he had delivered his jokes in his lilting southern drawl. After the boat ride we walked back to the hotel in the blazing sun and by the time we hit the fierce air conditioning of the hotel lobby we were almost orgasmic in our appreciation to the amusement of the friendly women on the front desk. 'How do you cope with this' I wailed? 'You won't believe this' said one woman 'But I wore a sweater into work this morning' The mind boggles. Up to the room where we showered and basked under the cool flow of air. After a brief snooze we got ready to go to BB Kings and Beale Street.

    In Memphis everything is just a short but sweaty walk away. We got to BB Kings early but the blues was already-a-playing. After an initial keffuffle when they didn't have our reservation we were seated to the far left of the stage where I ordered a nice cool beer and enjoyed the blues. Now the band were these very white overweight guys so you could be forgiven for not believing that they could be so talented and soulful but hell, they were and we were mesmerised by their talent. We ordered fried pickles and catfish and later ribs and beans. Everything was delicious especially the catfish which was lightly dusted in cornmeal. The ribs were sweet and sticky and fell straight of the bone. After eating we moved closer to the stage and enjoyed the rest of the set. The atmosphere was electric and people watching was amazing. In particular, an extended black family taking a long table and celebrating a birthday, they were in the mood to party and were so much fun to be near.

    Afterwards I shook the surprisingly soft hand of the keyboard player and vocalist who had the sweetest manner and blushingly received my gushing compliments. Outside we walked the full length of Beale Street taking in the beggars, tourists and street performers. In particular a group of athletic young black men who carelessly flipped and somersaulted their way along the street much to the amazement and appreciation of watching crowds. A truly magical evening.
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  • Day21


    June 27 in the United States

    Ich sitze seit heute morgen in nem Pub und habe Fußball geguckt, mehr muss man dazu auch nicht sagen 🙄
    Ich werde auch noch die anderen Spiele hier gucken und dann zum Flughafen fahren, Denver kann kommen 💪

    Gestern war ich dann ein bisschen in Midtown unterwegs. Es ist dort viel schöner und ruhiger als in Downtown. Dort wohnen Viele in kleinen Häusern in diesen typischen Siedlungen, wie man sie aus den Filmen kennt. Mitten drin ist dann ein schöner Park und sogar ein Stadtwald wo ich ein bisschen rumgeschlendert bin. Es gibt viele kleine Cafés und Bars, sodass man die Zeit gut rumkriegen konnte und es hab natürlich wieder ein typisches BBQ. Aber es war nichts Besonderes, deswegen gibt es auch nicht soviel zu berichten. Ich freue mich jetzt auf Denver und dann die ganze Landschaft bis hoch nach Kanada.Read more

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Court Square

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