When I saw that Elvis’s home the Graceland Mansion was in Memphis, I knew that it was a place I had to fit into my trip. My mum was a huge Elvis fan, I was brought up listening to Elvis and mum would go to Elvis tribute nights and we even played one of his songs at mums funeral (I just can’t help believing).
I booked The Pilgrim House Hostel outside of the centre of Memphis in an up and coming area, there were buses to the centre and lots of bars and restaurants. The hostel is linked to the church next door and it was a great hostel. Really good common areas, huge kitchen, very clean and the staff had information on how to get to all the places I wanted to go. It was a little weird getting a chore to perform each day but as it took 2 mins to do it was not a big issue.
My first day there, I took a bus from the hostel to Graceland, its easy to get to from anywhere in the city though you will probably need to change buses. When I got there I checked in and joined the queue to get on the mini bus to drive me across the road to the mansion. As you get on the bus you get an Ipad which gives you a self guided tour around the mansion with further information if you want more. This was great it meant you could take as long as you wanted and didn’t have to keep with your original group. There was free wifi throughout the mansion and I was sending pics home showing them where I was and chatting to my sister about how much mum would of loved to of been there, and how I hoped she was visiting with me.
You get to tour the downstairs of his house, which hasn’t be touched since he died nearly 39 years ago, meaning that it might of looked very fashionable in the 1970’s but looked very dated to me!! Also we got to see where Elvis is buried with his parents, grandmother & still born twin bother at his side. A lot of people were getting emotional at this point, though I had been emotional before thinking of mum.
Across the road at the visitors centre you also get to see his collection of cars and his 2 planes!! It’s a great day out and a must if you are in Memphis. You could probably do it all in 3 hours but I spent all day there, I loved it.
The next day I went into the centre of Memphis and visited the National Civil Rights Museum & The Lorraine Motel the assassination site of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, it was a very informative museum and showed how segregated America was. It was very difficult to see how such a short time ago people were treated so differently due to the colour of their skin. I believe we need museums like this though to educate people about what happened in the past so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.
After this I walked into the centre and around the town before getting the bus back to my hostel. I had a few great evenings out too in Memphis catching up with my friend Janet I had met in Europe 7 years previously, finding out all about the business she has set up “Cottons Cafe” which sells natural baked dog treats and is stocked in a lot of whole foods in the area. Thanks Janet for keeping me company, was great to catch up.
Find out about Why I started travelling here, Miami Beach here, Key West here, Everglades here, Bolton Abbey here, Naples here, Koh Tao here, Yangon – Myanmar here, Ischica – Italy here, Koyasan – Japan here and Machu Picchu – Peru here
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