American Update #4 – Post Hogmanay, and the City of Atlanta.

Hangover? Luckily the South have a love of deep fried food in common with the Scots. You can get all sorts of things battered, which is fine by me. I’d lost a fair bit of weight before I came to the States… I’m sure when I return to the homeland I’m going to be like the side of a house.

Behold… Deep fried green tomatoes:

Awesome stuff… and as Caroline says… they are a vegetable after all, so it can’t be all bad?

The sky down here is pretty amazing at night… clear and with some awesome colours. I like how even the smallest of Cities have got a skyline that looms up from the landscape.

This is Downtown Mobile in Alabama.

That’s another thing I like about the States. They have no problem with brightly coloured lights everywhere. I’m a total sucker for colourful lights.

Atlanta

Caroline dropped me off in some bizarre location at some stupid time in the morning (thanks again by the way) to begin my marathon Megabus journey up to Nashville, through Atlanta… which has a rather impressive skyline.

After catching the Megabus from Birmingham to Glasgow a while ago, I decided I’d never travel that way again; it was awful… but then, this is America, right? Plus, the next cheapest option was about five times the price.

It wasn’t half bad mind you. The wifi didn’t connect, which wasn’t too much of a shocker. Then again, it did connect up technically… it just didn’t have an internet connection. Ahem.

Instead, I just slept and watched movies. The hours flew by… I must be getting good at this travelling malarky. That, or just getting good at letting my brain turn into a stupor on transportation.

Hmm.

Atlanta’s the home of Coca-Cola World (and I presume Coke itself?). The attraction is fairly big and flashy… a bit further down the road we find the offices, which look quite different and wrapped up in barbed wire. Barbed wire?! What sort of soft drinks company needs that level of protection?

I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Atlanta. It was a cool city to visit, and there’s definitely some impressive big attractions to go and visit, but after wandering around for hours, the streets seemed to lack a bit of life. A lot of the time I was the only person or car on the block, which was a bit intimidating, and downright weird. There didn’t seem to be any single area that had a string of shops or bars. Downtown was full of sketchy characters trying to flog you things outside of a crazy number of places offering gold teeth.

Maybe I was just in the wrong places, but for such a big, sprawling city I would have hoped/expected there to be a bit more going on in the centre than what I saw.

The only place that was at all busy was the underground shopping centre, which is a bit strange considering how sunny it is here. They did have a Scottish and Welsh flag on the roof though… and notice anything? No English flag! Another minor victory.

One really cool thing about Atlanta is that it’s where Martin Luther King Jnr. was born and spent time as a minister.

There’s a whole historic site in his memory, and despite the American travel blogs warning that it was a “long walk” from the train station, I went anyway, and it turned out only to be ten minutes down the road.

It was crazy to be there and think that all of this was only happening in the late 60s; about forty years ago. There were videos of marches where the police violently beat and attacked completely peaceful protestors, and it’s amazing that it didn’t erupt into widespread violence. It’s interesting to think about how highly regarded this man is for the changes he made and his stance on non-violent resistance, when at the same time we consider the contempt society gives to those who deploy similar tactics today.

These are an example of some of the laws that were in place at the time:

Whilst there’s a much larger church built across the road now, this is the church where M.L. spoke and grew up attending. It had a nice warm feel to it, and not one of stiff, rigid solitude that one may expect from other religious buildings. A whole lot could probably be read into it, but I won’t do it the dis-service of doing such a thing.

This is the house where he was born, and the houses on the street are preserved like this, which is pretty amazing to see in the middle of the city.

I have some more time in Atlanta when I come back from Nashville in a few days, so I might jump on the train and head over to the High Art Museum which I only got to see the outside of this time. The time difference is an hour between the states though, which throws me off a bit. I’m never sure if my phone has updated properly or not, which could be disastrous for the bus journey home if I mis-judge it.

Since I was on my own, and with nobody else to turn my camera on like I would usually, here’s one of me.

Enjoy.

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