Memphis has got off to a flying start...
Managed to find a motel not far away from Graceland and immediately made plans to head down town to the famous Beale Street to catch some Blues. No cabs were available so the motel owner squeezed the five of us into his car and gave us a lift. Maybe he thought we were in a hurry when he decided to run a red light at 60 mph, which unfortunately attracted the attentions of the local police! At this point our minds started racing as he explained that the reason he didn't get a ticket is because he 'knew' the police and they 'knew' his motel....mmmm!
Nevertheless we grabbed a table in BB King's, ordered some BBQ and chilled out to the Blues before heading back for an early night - or so we thought! Still with the motel owner's words running around our heads we decided to Google the motel, only to discover that we were staying in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in America, with the hotel being the epicentre of drugs and prostitution in Memphis. This would explain the pimp waiting in his car outside our room while his woman was turning tricks in the room next door! Other nefarious characters were lurking in and out of the shadows around the hotel... cue 'let's get the hell out of here right now - car in one minute!'
After a frenzied 2 hour drive around the dodgiest parts of Memphis in the middle of the night we managed to find tranquility in the form of the Comfort Suites in East Memphis, the 'safe neighbourhood'.
Check out the article that made us flee The Lamplighter Motel.
After last night's drama, today's plans are slightly more restful! In no particular order, we're hitting Graceland, Stax Museum (which will include some interviews), the Memphis Rock And Soul Museum, the American Civil Rights Museum (which sits on the site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated), and finally going to see the Mississippi!
Keep following to find out what happens tonight!