Continuing on with the road trip that I took from Boston to Nashville, and back, this month for a conference! Starting from the beginning…..
The sunshine and blue skies that I’d experienced upon arrival in Nashville were short-lived. Obviously it didn’t matter because I was confined to a conference center all day, every day, and at least it remained dry on the Sunday when I did manage to get a couple of hours free to go for a wander with my friend Alys.
Alys is a fellow Brit who works in the same field as me, she’s head of a lab in Edinburgh where I worked for a while back in 2005. I was excited when she told me she was flying over for the conference because we’ve not seen each other since September 2005. She was only there for a couple of days though, so we had to cram all our catching-up into a Saturday evening out at The Bluebird Cafe. I’m not a fan of live music (I much prefer being able to chat to my friends), but when in Nashville……and this place reportedly has a great reputation as one of the best places to hear music in the town. It was a good experience, although I was just exhausted after all my travel, plus a three hour committee meeting until 9pm that night. So listening to music for a couple of hours and not getting to bed until after midnight just about killed me off!
But anyway, I bounced back the following day, and Alys & I caught up in a quieter environment the next day – a local Starbucks for coffee and cake! We also wandered around Centennial Park so we could visit the Parthenon.
You’d be forgiven for doing a double-take and wondering if we’d been transported to Athens, but no, we truly were in Nashville!
The Parthenon is the centerpiece of Centennial Park, and is a full-size replica of the original in Athens. It was originally built as a temporary exhibit for Nashville’s Centennial Exposition in 1897, as a monument to the original masterpiece. Years later, however, when its original plaster fell into disrepair, it was decided to refurbish it as a permanent fixture! Today, in all its full glory, it’s also home to Nashville’s art museum.
John W. Thomas stands in front of the Parthenon. He was the President of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition, and the President of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway. According to his statue, he was also “a worthy man in all the lines of life”.
Across from the Parthenon there is a wonderful Civil War Confederate Monument with the engraved caption “”Duty Done Honor Won”.
And although Nashville certainly isn’t Athens, their Parthenon is still very impressive! I’m certainly glad that we managed to catch the park while the weather was still ok for walking around.