Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 41 - Nashville - Birmingham

As we crossed over into Alabama from Tennessee we were very close to Huntsville in Alabama. Huntsville is America's home of rocketry and builds all NASA's spacecraft. This is a Saturn Rocket that could have taken an Apollo crew to the moon - it's huge. Located in the Visitor's Rest Area near Athens, Alabama

The hot end of the Saturn Rocket on display near Athens, Alabama. A six-footer could easily walk under the nozzles without hitting his/her head

The Vulcan Tower at Vulcan Park, Birmingham, Alabama. The statue of Vulcan represents the iron and steel history of Birmingham

Birmingham from the top of the Vulcan Tower.

Looking directly down from the Vulcan Tower. The map represents Birmingham and its outlining suburbs

The "rear" end of the Vulcan statue on Vulcan park, Birmingham

There are actually two towers - the one that has the statue of Vulcan has only 159 stairs leading to the top. The other tower is the elevator easy way up.

Located in the disused Sloss Factory near the centre of Birmingham, Alabama. How to make old rusted piping to art form

The old Sloss Blast Furnace near the centre of Birmingham. The product of this furnace was to make slag which was the basis for making roads. 

The disused Sloss Factory, Birmingham, Alabama

It's Saturday afternoon and the centre of Birmingham is almost deserted - no road traffic at all. It is hot day today and many African-Americans use this park to play cards, play chess or just relax in the cool shade.

The Birmingham Court House in the background.

The water from the fountain in the background cascades down to this pool. Located in the main park in the centre of Birmingham, Alabama

We had a 40 minutes lesson on the West Coast Swing (our sixth so far). Michael our teacher gave us some pointers on our routine, however we still need to practice the beat and the elasticity that is inherit for this dance. Photo taken at the Magic City Dance Studio, Vestavia Hills, Birmingham

Look what they done to our! Taken inside the Outback Restaurant at Homewood, Birmingham. Can anybody see what is wrong with this flag????

We left Nashville at 8:30 pm after a brief issue with the reception girl at the Holiday Inn. When we checked-in three days ago we paid $73 USD for three days parking at their underground facility - well this "Valerie" tried to charge us again using our credit card and still insisted even after explaining that we have a receipt. We had to retrieve this document and she tacitly accused us of trying to run off without paying this outrageous parking fee. Luckily another reception girl solved this problem and we left annoyed. Most Holiday Inn hotels have great staff but a few such as the one in Nashville are different. It's all about money!!! Our journey south was a four hour journey and upon entering Alabama came upon a tall and white monstrosity. It was a Saturn rocket that could have been used in the Apollo Space program. The photo above does not show the true size of this rocket. We made it to a quiet Birmingham city and visited the Vulcan Park with its tall tower. Also toured the old and now disused Sloss (Slag) refinery. Birmingham on a Saturday afternoon is very quiet and almost deserted town. The history of Birmingham is about steel and one incident back in the 60's a one  black woman named Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus with the other blacks and caused a Civil Right incident. Now Rosa's name is plastered all over the major city streets in recognition of her resentment to discrimination. After touring Birmingham we have checked in to our hotel which is located a few miles south of the city. At 5:30 pm we had a West Cost Swing lesson with Michael at the Magic City Dance Studio. This is our 6th lesson and our sequence routine works. All we need to do now is make it look like the West Coast Swing. Had dinner in a Ozzie Restaurant call Outback. They have great ribs and meat dishes but they do not know the Aussie flag. We are heading further south tomorrow and will hit the Gulf of Mexico. We'll just pass through Florida's panhandle and eventually return to Alabama at Mobile. Until then cheers.

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