Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 42 - Birmingham & Mobile

The state capitol of Alabama is Montgomery. This is the front of the State Capitol Building

View of the main street that leads into downtown Montgomery, Alabama from the State Capitol building steps.

There are may State Capitol office buildings surrounding the main domed building. Montgomery, Alabama

There are 50 flags surrounding this park that represents all the states of America. Located next to the Montgomery State Capitol 

Alabama's State Capitol building from a side view

One of the many unusual buildings around the State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama

We touched into the Florida's panhandle counties. The main city is Pensacola. This city is well known for the Naval Air Station run by the USN. It is also on the waterfront of a bay that fronts the Gulf of Mexico. This is a shaded avenue that leads into a picnic ground near a bay side park

We drove from Florida into Alabama again when we noticed this store - pretty close to the Florida side of the border. Because it is the 4th of July on Thursday many warehouses are selling crackers. Interestingly many buildings such as these are located outside city limits - just in case somebody decides to light up a fag and therefore collateral damage may be restricted.  

The USS Alabama located in Mobile, Alabama. This huge battleship is awesome. We have never seen anything as huge as this. The ship was commissioned in February 1942 and seen many hard fought battles throughout WW2

A good side view of the awesome vessel. The picture shows a DC3 aircraft dwarfed by this battleship in Mobile, Alabama

We reckon the USS Alabama is going nowhere. This is one of the main propellers. Located next to the entrance in Battleship Park, Mobile Alabama

Anne is hunting down those kamikaze's on board the USS Alabama with her 50 cal. Note the wooden decking.

Besides being extremely long in length, the USS Alabama is considerably wide. This is a good view from the stern looking back

USS Alabama's rear 16" guns

When the USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942 she had to be fitted with many anti-aircraft guns to combat the Japanese suicide planes. Therefore many guns were located all along midships.

Those 16" barrels were deadly. Taken from the bow of the USS Alabama

From the deck of the USS Alabama looking towards Mobile. A B-52 is on display next to the car park. Ralph is in there on the right - hard to see because he is tucked between big cars.

Scaling up ladders on the USS Alabama is hard exercise for us. This is  a port side view taken as we are climbing to the bridge

A view of the bow from the bridge of the USS Alabama

A B-25 on display at the Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile

The Battleship Memorial Park at Mobile Alabama also has an aircraft display. This is a F-16 Falcon fighter jet.

A big surprise a "Blackbird" spy plane. A beautiful piece of machinery. This is the second aircraft of this type we have seen on our US holiday. Located in Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile Alabama

A Navy A-6 Intruder Aircraft inside the Aircraft display building, Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile

The USS Drum a WW2 submarine. Located in Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama

View of the USS Drum from the bow.

It was a good reminder that we are in "gator" territory. In Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile

The "Blackbird" was made up of special metals to withstand the high temperatures at high altitudes. Located in the aircraft display at Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile

For a final photograph a side superstructure view of the mighty USS Alabama.

It was an early start today and we headed south to the capitol of Alabama - Montgomery. The city was almost deserted except for a few African-American church goers who were attending their Baptist Sunday services. We stood on the upper step of the capitol building and noticed a star embedded into the top step. Apparently this is the same spot where Jefferson Davies was made President of the Confederate States of America in 1861. From Montgomery we diverted from the main expressway and turned off into the panhandle district in Florida. We made Pensacola for lunch and sat at a picnic ground next to the bay. There was nothing much to see at Pensacola so we headed west to Mobile. Now this made us enter Alabama again. We were ten miles short of our intended destination where the USS Alabama is on display we came face to face with a Sunday expressway traffic snarl. There was an accident that slowed us down for about an half hour. Nevertheless we made it to the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile and came upon the battleship USS Alabama. The ship wasn't commissioned until after the Pearl Harbor affair, however she did see many battles throughout the war. The ship is enormous and the weaponry that she had carried. Her main firepower were her 16" guns and the many 40mm bofors that straddled all around her superstructure. There were 50 cal guns at the bow. Imagine when those 16" guns were firing and the sailors who had to man those bow guns - it would be deafening. Also at the park there were several war birds on display. The best was the Blackbird spy plane. Also there is the WW2 submarine the USS Drum. We spent a good two hours in the park and after found our motel in Mobile at 4:30 pm. It was a hot day and good to settle in our room. It will be a short drive to New Orleans tomorrow. We will drive along the coast and view the Gulf of Mexico. They say that their beaches are golden. Yet to be compared with our beautiful Aussie beaches. We are in New Orleans for four nights. We are looking forward to our two tours during our stay there AND IT IS ANNE'S BIRTHDAY ON THE FOURTH OF JULY.  Neil is asking from all Anne's friends to send her a happy birthday message. Cheers 

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