Three days of Thrill - Part 1 (of 2) - Alabama & Missouri -

This was a trip to an unknown section than usual holiday destinations of Indians in America. Alabama and Missouri don't come close to qualify for a holiday destination list, forget about topping it.

We planned to visit the parts of three states down south of the USA, completely different from each other. Florida, the vibrant one, Missouri, the quite and subtle. Alabama, the historic, mostly we heard about it due to the song "Alabama" or the movie, "To kill a mockingbird".

The Plan
Day 1: Start early evening and stay somewhere near to the first destination, town of "Mobile"
Day 2: Visit the historic war ship, USS Alabama and head to Mississippi afternoon. Return back to stay overnight in Mobile.
Day 3: Visit the vibrant Pensacola Beach and shred all the fatigue in the clean water of the gulf of Mexico.


Preparation
Hotel bookings were important. Because plan was to convert a normal weekend to be felt like long weekend, by cutting down the travel time on the weekends. We planned to start Friday evening and stay somewhere after crossing the two major cities on the route, Atlanta and Montgomery, that night, as close as possible to the first destination. Best Western Inn, Greenville, Alabama, a 2 star chain of hotels, was selected for the Friday night halt. Comfort Inn, a 3 star chain, at Mobile Alabama was the halt chosen for Saturday.

The Execution
Day 1: We started early evening from Alpharetta on Friday, just after I came back from the office. The first big city, on the way, was Atlanta. As is the case with all the metro cities on Fridays, evening traffic welcomed us. It took almost an hour of bumper-to-bumper drive before we pierced the weekend rush and hit the serenity on I-85 towards Montgomery, the next big hub. We reached hotel in Greenville around 7:30 PM. I completely forgot, that the due to timezone changed and back by an hour, the actual time at our origin was 8:30. We had our home made thheplas as light dinner and we jumped in the beds and dozed off.

Day 2: USS Alabama, our first visiting spot was still couple of hours away. We woke up normally and hit the road by 9:00 AM after grabbing light breakfast. We reached USS Alabama at around 10:30. The entry was grand.




Huge parking lot has a lot of war machines kept around. The fighter jets, carrier planes, helicopters, tanks and what not surrounded. If you are visiting a defence museum for the first time, the view is not just mesmerizing, it is intimidating. After customary clicks for few minutes outside, we headed to the main attraction, the USS Alabama.

We went in. Since we were early, it was less crowded. We roamed around the ship freely and to all locations open for visitors. From the congested dormitories to wide and large decks, from the captain's cabin to the kitchen, from powerful machine-guns to huge canons, we saw it all.

Nicknamed as "Mighty A", USS Alabama (BB-60) featured in several battles of world war two. It was the strength of allied forces, helped British to hold their ground against the mighty and technologically superior, Germans. It's journey and contribution did not stopped even after getting decommissioned. It featured in Nicholas Cage starrer USS Indianapolis and is now serving as a museum.

A ticket of USD 35 was worth. We also witnessed the live show of aircraft attack and ship's defence mechanism. The veterans of war, the retired heroes showed us all. We returned back from the warship to go to the another war machine, the Submarine USS Drum. The nightmare for claustrophobic, USS Drum used to be the living room for the warriors of 20th century, including World War Two. 

Drill to show aircraft attack on USS Alabama


We reluctantly decided to leave the battlefield after paying visits to tanks and aircrafts and the memorial of war. We headed towards creepy Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve near Moss Point and Pascagoula, Mississippi. We drove through the scarcely busy I-10 and then deserted jungle off roads of Mississippi to reach in the middle of jungle.

The surroundings were creepy, secluded and wild. This area has permission to hunt, so a lot of hunters were already in the jungle, before we reached after noon. We headed towards the fishing zone. We can hear the sounds of drums at a distance. We came closer and the music became louder and partying groups were audible. The part was across the water body, piercing the otherwise creepy silence of the nature. After soaking the view, we headed back to the entrance, which was calm and serene. We wanted to spend some time in silence.



During our return, we heard a lot of gunshots. Somewhere, some were enjoying life by taking few. We reached a serene and beautiful place around entrance of the jungle, found a place and just went on to relax and have some food. We soaked in the jungle, the nature, the calmness and the serenity. The only sound audible was that of the winds blowing violently. After sometime, a light drizzle and light thunder reminded us, that we need to get out of the jungle before dark.


 

The two parts of the day spent were distance apart. We started with the chaotic warfare weapons and ended in a serene jungle. However both of them had one thing similar, the quest of human to establish themselves superior over other fellow humans or other species.

Next day was going to be a "happening" one. Our final destination of the trip was Pensacola Beach, Florida. With all the excitements we had experienced today, we headed back to our hotel in Mobile, Alabama, to recharge ourselves for tomorrow's treat.

Rest in the next part.

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