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you can't help but say wow when you see the full-scale forty-one feet ten inch high replica of the goddess war, Athena originally made by Phidias.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.