Monday, December 21, 2009

My Trip to the Deep South in Greece

While I didn't get a leisurely trip back from the Deep South, I did take a leisurely trip down there. We drove pretty easy the first day and made it as far as Nashville before we stopped for the night at only 4 pm. We checked out a couple BBQ joints for lunch along the way then again for supper in Nashville but neither had that elusive Holy Grail of BBQ. At the lunch one, I did have my first BBQ sandwich with coleslaw on it since that appears everywhere once you get down south. It had an interesting taste and wasn't all that bad but I still prefer just meat and sauce on mine.

The next morning, we decided to kill the morning in Nashville before continuing on our way to our only obligation of the day, which was the traditional evening before the wedding dinner with both families. With only three or so hours left to drive, we decided to stay until noon. To allow the Nashville rush hour to simmer and get out of the hospital, we walked around downtown in the music city area seeing the Country Music Television headquarters and the former home of the Grand Old Opry, the Ryman Center. It was early and none of these things were open and it was too cold to linger so we drove to Greece and saw the Parthenon.

Well actually we visited the only full-scale replica of the Parthenon in the world that happened to be located in Nashville. Unlike the 2000 plus year old Parthenon that sits on top of the Acropolis, this one is just a young pup at a little over 100 years old and instead of marble, built out of cast concrete. But other than that, it is a faithful reproduction in every other way. Underneath the Parthenon, there is a museum on the building of both structures along with the requisite gift shop but in the main chamber you can't help but say wow when you see the full-scale forty-one feet ten inch high replica of the goddess war, Athena originally made by Phidias. Back in the 5th century BC., it was hailed as a masterpiece. It was also neat to see the winged goddess of victory Nike (in Athena's outstretched right hand), in a context other than tennis shoes. We arrived there just as it opened and had it too ourselves for a few minutes and for the next couple hours as we walked around, there were always crowds standing in front of her. I think it set me back $9 for my family to enter and it was worth every penny.

Looking Down the Outside

Lions head in the large 20+ foot tall 1+ foot thick bronze doors

Athena herself

The only surviving sculpture of myself and the Mrs.


Eutychus2 said...

Thanks so much for this article and photo's; I've been by this place a couple of times when I had kids living in Nashville but the wife and I never stopped by. Now I wished we had of so we could have had a model made of us like you'al did. It's interesting that they didn't model your heads, but it is very 'period' looking!

Murf said...

But why in Nashville?

Nice abs, Ed.

R. Sherman said...

I used to go to Nashville rather frequently, as I had a girlfriend who attended Vanderbilt. Thus I've been to the Parthenon several times. More impressive for me, however, was grabbing a Bud tallboy in a paper sack and people watching outside Conway Twitty's souvenir store on Music Row.

Truly, mind reels.


Ed said...

Eutychus2 - We almost didn't stop since the whole thing sounded cheesy. But we did and really enjoyed ourselves for a couple hours which is partly why I wanted to blog about it in case others felt the same way I initially did.

Murf - I am assuming you are asking why they built this in Nashville and not why we stopped in Nashville for the night. Can't answer the former assumption anyway but I suppose it probably seemed pretty neat over a hundred and some years ago when they did do it. It happened at the culmination of the world's fair being held in that city so that might have had something to do with it.

R. Sherman - I'll have to do that next time. This time had I done that, my beer would have frozen before I could have finished it.

Bone said...

Apparently, Nashville was known as the Athens of the South. Though I've never heard a single person refer to it as such.

We went to the Parthenon on a field trip once. That's the only time I've ever been. Though I have been to Centennial Park a few times. They used to have paddle boats out in the lake, but took them out several years ago for some reason.

Vince said...

Now there is one humungus dolls house. But I'll bet you that your little one will have vastly more fun with hers than the collective over the past 100 years had with that thing.

Ed said...

Bone - I guess I learn something new everyday. I wonder if country music was big in Athens?

Vince - Kind of hard to fit a dollhouse of that size under a Christmas tree.

Beau said...

Wow- didn't even know it was there! Add it to the list...

Woody said...

Spent a chunck of my life in Nashville. My favorite bbq was Cantrell's. Great sauce on the side. I bartended in a little place called the Gold Rush down the street from the Parthenon on Elliston Place. There were some really good and really rotten memories of Nashville for me.

Cool dollhouse..

Merry Christmas to ya'll

TC said...

I could really go for a trip to Nashville right about now.

I've had the slaw on meat several times now, and it doesn't do much for me. I can do it, but like you, I prefer it the other way.