Our tour of Dixieland was a fulfilled dream for me, a trip we wanted to do over ten years ago to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary but couldn't because at that time I was crippled by arthritis in my knee and couldn't face touring anywhere on a bus for 12 days. Of course it wasn't a problem now because my knee joint is now metal and perfectly pain free and sound, so we set off on our long awaited, dream trip.
Our flight out of Manchester (UK) was on time at 10.10 a.m.and uneventful, getting through customs and security at Atlanta was an eyeopener - having collected our luggage we had to put the duty free items we bought in the UK inside and check the luggage in again before proceeding through customs then get on a train to get to baggage claim again to collect our bags. LOL
click on photos to biggify
Our tour director, Alice, was waiting for us at baggage claim to welcome us to Atlanta.
Once all our party were assembled we made our way to the motor coach where we met our driver for the tour, Jerome,
who took us to our first stop on the tour, The Hotel Midtown Atlanta for our first night in Dixieland.
Me outside Hotel Midtown Atlanta on second day of tour.
After breakfast the following morning we left the hotel for a brief tour of Atlanta including the CNN building
and the Centenial Olympic Park, where the Coca Cola 125th Anniversary celebrations were taking place that day.
Our next stop on the city tour was a very emotional and unexpected visit to Dr. Martin Luther King's memorial site.
We took some photographs of Atlanta's impressive skyline.
Departing Atlanta we passed through Montgomery, a primary site in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and remembered the very brave Rosa Parks
, who's act of defiance in refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches, which eventually resulted in victory for the black people of the deep south of America . It was interesting to learn that when the bus boycott was over, Rosa once again boarded the bus to go to work only to find that the bus driver was the same one who'd had her arrested for refusing to give up her seat. That must have been a sweet victory for her indeed.
Montgomery was also the place where Jefferson Davis
was sworn in as the first and only President of the Confederacy.
We also had a short stop in Montgomery to see a statue of Hank Williams
, the country music singer/songwriter, who's career began at the age of 14 by winning a talent show at the empire Theatre in Montgomery in 1937.
Statue of Hank Williams, Montgomery, Alabama
Our journey proceeded to Mobile, Alabama
, where we were to spend the night at the Holiday Inn Mobile West. We arrived about 4.30 p.m. after a tiring but interesting journey from Atlanta with just enough time to freshen up before getting on the bus again to visit Felix's Fish Camp
, located on Battleship Parkway, for a great meal with our fellow travellers.
On the way to Felix's we passed Mobile Bay's shore where we saw the USS Alabama Battleship and the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently boy scouts and such groups occasionally stay overnight on the battleship. Good fun and a unique experience for them.
After a delicious meal we returned to the hotel for a much needed sleep before embarking on day 3 of our Southern Music and Dixieland Tour. Oh yes, we gained an hour on the journey as we had to put our watches back when we crossed a time zone!
Hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our tour, join me for Dixieland - Part 2 coming soon.