After a pretty eventful first and second day, day 3 marks the shortest leg of the trip! Yesterdays route took us from Nashville, Tennessee to Louisville, Kentucky. A shorter trip doesn’t mean less fun or adventure as this report of Day 3 will reveal!
Having a shorter journey ahead of us means no early alarms but a very modest 10am departure time. Despite that relaxing schedule most #MBRT14 participants are up early again due to the jetlag or simply because they are early birds. We take the available time to finish the story of Day 2 and head down for breakfast at the excellent Omni Hotel in Nashville. Having stopped by at Jack Daniels the previous day we are carrying a bottle of prime Jack Daniels Whiskey which we, by accident, use to Christen the hotel lobby. It is quickly cleaned up by the hotel staff but it doesn’t prevent that the entire huge lobby has a strong Whiskey scent when we return from breakfast 30 minutes later. Nothing like the smell of Whiskey in the morning ;)
Today we draw the short straw and drive the GLK 250, the least exciting car in the #mbrt14 fleet. We leave the hotel and take a small tour through the center of Nashville for some photos. This once again proves how hard it is to keep a group of 8 cars together as the group falls apart in a heartbeat. Regrouped 15 minutes later we leave Nashville for what it is (a pretty cool city and worth another visit!) and head towards the Interstate towards the Kentucky State Line.
Our daily routine for the last couple of days also includes filling up at one of the first petrol stations on the Interstate, considering we are in a diesel today we figure we should make the 150 miles to Louisville with half a tank and don’t need a refill while the others all fill up with yet another tank of V-Power. After the tank stop we leave the steering wheel for what it is and take the camera to hand to capture the new C-Class and the other cars on our trip on camera.
The motto of the Mercedes-Benz Road Trip 2014 being ‘Guarding the New C-Class’, we take another attempt at escorting it to the next checkpoint and ultimately to Detroit. Today the #mbrt14 group is showing its skill and in true Mercedes-Benz formation we take over the Interstate all the time with the C-Class safely surrounded by the other Benzes. An interesting sight that is accepted by the other road users with surprisingly little road rage – it wouldn’t have been like this in Europe!
Along our route today there are several interesting sights and we, collectively, have decided to stop at the Corvette Museum and Factory in Bowling Green. Arriving at Bowling Green what better place to park than a section marked with ‘Corvette Parking Only’? Luckily there is not much happening on this Saturday Morning in January so the Benzes are safe on their parking place. The images fly over the (social) web and before we know it the Corvette Museum tweets if we can park it with the rest of the metal cars.
Inside we quickly browse the museum, which holds a nice historic collection of Vettes and browse the gift shop for a souvenir, preferably one that we can smash again in the hotel the next morning to keep our new born tradition alive. When come back outside the C-Class has disappeared along with two other cars. We team up again with Gianluca and Gonzi who are in the S550 today and decide to visit Fort Knox, home of the Bullion Depository where a large share of the US Gold reserve is stored.
The Interstates are empty and the GLK 250 is actually quite a pleasant travel car. After our time in the E63 S AMG and S550 we do miss the steering- and lane assist but Distronic Plus, the adaptive cruise control, is still doing a great job for comfortable highway cruising. The miles pass quickly and before we know it we exit for Fort Knox which is located a good 20 miles off the Interstate. We pass a strip with typical American restaurants and stop at a typical burger joint and the four of us murder about 15 cheeseburgers.
Fort Knox is not only famous for its gold but also for the army base and you we feel its near with the number of army- and pawn shops increasing. We turn right towards Fort Knox and before we know it we are greeted by the Bullion Depository on the left and a tank on the right. Our Italian and French friend in the S550 are apparently under the impression that the big gates marked with ‘Strength starts here’ are the entrance to the Fort Knox tourist visitor center as they try to drive through the gates to enter the military base. Looked at in awe and observed by us from a distance they are denied access and forced to reverse back to where they came from.
We take a couple of pictures on the road across from the Bullion Depository and are amazed by the lake of tourist facilities at what must be one of the most famous buildings in the United States, not even a parking place for sightseers like us to stop. Near Fort Knox is also a military cemetery where war victims are buried. Next stop: Louisville! We enter Louisville through the back roads and get to see a few of the less nice areas of the city. The center and especially the Museum Hotel where we are staying overnight is very nice and littered with art. The entire ground floor and basement is exhibition space with modern art – worth a visit!
During dinner the car allocation for the next and final day of our road trip is cleared and we head off to bed because the jetlag and long days are starting to take their toll. Stay tuned for the last day of our trip, Day 4: Louisville to Detroit and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for live updates from the road! Also make sure to check out the Mercedes-Benz #mbrt14 Timeline for updates from all people on the trip!