We found a guesthouse near the centre of the seaport of Savannah
(population about 300,000). Having read "Gone With The Wind" I
was not surprised by the architecture. Savannah has a charm that
The drive to the inland city of Atlanta took about 5 hours from Savannah. Atlanta is about the same size as Sydeny (4.3 Million). Pollution is low, it rarely snows, a congenial place to live. The 1996 Olympic Games were held in Atlanta. Maybe I am becoming desensitised, but Atlanta has a "feel" more like Sydney than the West Coast or the central-south. (Which is to say, life in Atlanta does not seem to be quite so focussed on automobiles).
TENNESSEE & KENTUCKY -
From Atlanta we followed the I-75 up to Memphis, which is probably
the C&W music capital of the USA. In the town of Memphis (in
park opposite Borders bookshop, which is the only T-Mobile WI-FI site
with coffee in Memphis) is a reproduction of the Parthenon.
Inside is a statue of Athena (Diana) with Nike standing on her
hand. (Nike is the female god of Victory, and also, like
Hermes/Mercury, is a messenger for the gods).
We continued on, and camped ($16/site+$2ea shower) at Mammoth Park, Kentucky, which boasts the longest known cave system (300 miles) in the world.
Fort Knox was our next stop. Being "aliens" we were
asked for ID, searched, given the third degree, etc. We looked
around to make a withdrawal, but there was nobody prepared to accept
I include the following comments by No2 daughter, who travelled with me and read sections over my shoulder.
Looking over the shoulder of an apathetic webmaster.
Tennesse can't be explained from the cosy confines of a starbucks down the road (albeit it only 3 miles from the center of town), The spirit of Tenessee can't be captured within a *greek* statue within the recreation of the Panthenon (though it does say something for the extravagance of Americans). Does Tennesse have any entertainment... say country music, perhaps?
Savannah wasn't actually featured
in gone with the wind....Was it?
Maybe the search at Fort Knox had something to do with your reference to the: "rifle you had hidden in the boot.. haha. I mean.. what rifle?"
The LONGEST cave in the world (disclaimer: so far as we know), how'd you find that tidbit out? Did someone who actually walked down to the mouth of the cave tell you. *cough* me *cough*
CHICAGO, NIAGARA, BOSTON -
Chicago is a great city. We stayed there for a couple of days,
but had to leave as time is running out. Found a 24 hour
Starbucks on North
side. (It's not that Starbucks makes the best coffee, but they
have an arrangement with T-Mobile, so I can get a wifi connection at
most Starbux (or Borders) shops.
From there we followed the I-90 across to just south of Detroit, then up through Canada to Niagara. The I-90 is a toll road for most of the distance between Chicago & Boston. The cost (toll) works out at around 5c/mile, which is about the same as the cost of petrol. Trying to avoid the toll roads is a time consuming and frustrating business. The owners (the various state governments) of the toll roads (called turnpikes, I think the distinction is on the entry/exit charges) have no interest in undercutting this lucrative revenue source. Some road users I met complained that the governments have long since paid for the roads, but (a bit like Sydney's harbour bridge toll), nobody can force a government on the issue of revenue.
The Canadians "Own" Niagara, in the sense that because the river makes a right hand turn immediately after the falls, the only place to get a full frontal is Canada.
From Niagara we drove along the I-90 to Boston, with a brief
the NY state capital, Albany.
Boston is crowded and expensive. The parking situation is
cruel. The American accent is unnoticeable. What I heard
from Irish brogue to something that sounds almost like
Australian or UK English. The feel (atmosphere) of the inner city
(downtown) is from the 19th century,
like parts of Paddington, Sydney. Narrow winding streets, double
shops and hostels (the winter temperature is formidably low).
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Japanese travelers are interesting. Few people in
Australia or the USA are aware
that Japan is the second economic power in the world. This lack
of awareness has come about perhaps because of the Japanese virtues of
and self effacement. Japan suffered a severe economic setback
about a decade ago, and apparently has not yet fully recovered.
That setback was probably the result of inflated land prices, which
bank insolvency. (That sounds familiar somehow. I am still
amazed that a house less than 5 miles from Fort Worth city can be
purchased for around AU$100,000. I would like to point out
the Fort Worth-Dallas MetroPlex has a population of
5,600,000. When I left the Sydney-Parramatta metroplex, which is
smaller than the DFW
Metroplex, there were no houses obtainable within 5 or 10 Km of
Parramatta for less than $300,000).