Sunday, November 5, 2023



Would you believe there is an EXACT replica of the Parthenon in Knoxville? It is the only place in the world where you can experience what the real deal was really like. And what's inside will blow your mind!

The building is made of  aggregate concrete replacing the original wood and lathe construction.

Again, thanks to Kay serving as our tour guide, we got to see one of the highlights, for me, of the trip. The following are quotes from who said it best:

 ” The least likely place to find the most perfect replica of the Greek Parthenon would seem to be in in the Country Music Capital of the World. But before Nashville was Country Strong it was "The Athens of the South," a city that prided itself as a center of learning and enlightenment. When Nashville hosted Tennessee's Centennial Exposition in 1897, the city wanted to remind everyone of its "Athens" claim, so it built a temporary full-size replica Parthenon (the original is in Athens). The site later became Centennial Park, and the temporary temple was so popular that the city replaced it with a permanent one in 1931. Soon after that, the singing hillbilly honky-tonkers came to town, and the Parthenon has been weirdly out-of-place ever since.

 The tallest indoor statue in the U.S. is a pagan goddess. Covered in real gold, too.

To make Nashville's Parthenon complete, a colossal statue of the goddess Athena had to be built inside it…Standing 42 feet tall – Athena is the tallest indoor statue in the U.S. -- and with her giant companion snake and crazy eyes she's an eerie sight in the temple gloom…A tiny (human size) Nike stands in her upturned palm, crowning her with a wreath of victory. If you look closely, you can spot other gods and creatures: Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, Pegasus, fighting Amazons, a Sphinx, and the severed head of serpent-haired Medusa. "Great attention was paid to accuracy and detail," said Wesley Paine, the Parthenon's director,  “This really is the only place in the world you can go and see what the ancient Greeks intended."


The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles are direct casts of the original sculptures, which decorated the pediments dating back to 438 BC. Only fragments of the originals (called the Elgin Marbles) are left and are in the British Museum in London (which I had the pleasure of seeing on one of my many trips to London.) The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s art museum.


Saturday, November 4, 2023


We stayed in Nashville for three days and the surprises just kept coming. It is known, of course, for being the center of country music and the mecca for all aspiring performers, but it has so much more going for it than that.

 Nashville, State Capitol of Tennessee

I probably wouldn’t have bothered, but thanks to Kay our first stop in Nashville was the State Capitol. I was amazed at how elegant and majestic the building is. In fact, all of the capitols we visited have proven to be well worth seeing. From the architecture to the wealth of history they contain, I highly recommend that you add them to your list of places to visit.

A wonderful surprise for me was the discovery of a bust of John Sevier. I had seen a picture of it in my research, but I hadn’t known where it was. I had asked the folks at the Knoxville Courthouse, but they had no idea so I had pretty much given up hope of finding it. So, I felt like a kid at Christmas when I ambled down a hallway in the Nashville Courthouse and discovered it. 

Downtown Nashville and the Music Scene

Nashville, of course, is known primarily as the mecca for country music and it was a treat to see downtown Nashville in action. All up and down main street we were treated to the music of wonderfully talented musicians pouring their hearts out in their music.

The Big Pink Bus Experience

One of the best things we did in Nashville was book a two-hour tour on a NashTrash bus. Yep, you heard me. It’s a big ole pink bus that took us around the city while being entertained by two very talented and hilarious guides, Jenny (Hoss) Littleton and Henry Haggard. But the highlight of the entire tour was when Jenny sang. She has one of those magical voices that makes your heart sing. The whole bus would break out in spontaneous applause and cheers. We knew we were hearing something special. Why she isn’t a huge recording star is a crying shame. She does an act with a fellow by the name of Doyle and fortunately they have a bunch of videos on YouTube you can check out, but nothing beats hearing her in person. 

Jenny Littleton

Grand Ole Opryland Hotel

(Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center)

No kidding, this place is simply jaw-dropping! Just driving by it, it seemed to go on and on for miles. It is immense! I was exhausted just walking from the parking lot to the main lobby. I totally recommend spending some time there having lunch and taking pictures. Even if you don’t stay there, it is a very fun experience to visit!

Image courtesy Google Images

**Click on any image to get a full screen slide show!