Nashville

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Nashville is famously known as the music capital of the US, but there is much more to this city. I didn’t get to do much during this visit because I desperately needed some downtime after covering 2700 miles in ten days.

The city sits on the Cumberland river and is as beautiful in the spring as it was in the fall, when I first visited. I noticed that the state of Tennessee generally has many wonderfully green forests. I like that.

On a previous visit to Nashville, I went to a few noteworthy places. The Grand Ole Opry House was my first stop; it seemed only right. The Grand Ole Opry is a live radio show that has featured the biggest country musicians since 1925. It is a live stage concert in Nashville broadcast on network radio. The Grand Ole Opry House has been the current home of this concert and show since 1974.

The previous Grand Ole Opry House, renamed the Ryman Auditorium, was my other stop. I went with a friend and we chose the self-guided tour. It’s always interesting to look back at the innovative ideas our forebears had. I was especially interested in seeing how the arts affected culture at the time, and how the ideas developed back then still affect us today.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is just stupendous! Inside are a number of atriums and it houses a hotel with 6 floors, over 3000 rooms and suites, and 15 restaurants. Most attention-grabbing; however, is the 0.25 mile artificial river that runs through the Cajun-themed Delta atrium. The water in this river contains samples from more than 1700 rivers worldwide, including every registered river in the US. One can take a guided tour of the atrium on a flatboat in the Delta river.

The resort is also home to two other atriums: the Garden Conservatory, an indoor tropical garden with many kinds of plants and fountains, and the Cascades, a collection of thousands of plant species and large, artificial waterfalls. Guests can walk through each of these atriums and even sit for a spell on strategically placed benches. Balconies overlook these atriums so that overnight guests can enjoy the views from upper floors. It’s simply marvelous.

Downtown Nashville is just the right size for me: not too small and, by no means, gigantic. Viewed from the Riverfront park at a certain angle, it uncannily resembles Gotham, that fictional home of Batman. Hmmm. The buildings are pretty and the walk through the city pleasant, flanked as it is by green lawns and parks. As you can imagine, the music scene is vibrant, as are many of the other arts. The restaurants and cafes are eclectic–just the way I like them.

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