Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Day Trip to Louisville, Kentucky


Last Saturday, September 2nd, most of us Fulbrighters and our families got taken to Louisville, Kentucky to explore for one day - thanks CIEDR! We left in several massive cars at 7am and had until 5 pm to do what we wanted in Louisville. I have to admit I knew absolutely nothing about Louisville before the trip, but after some research, we decided we'd go to Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory as well as the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.

The trip from Bloomington to Louisville takes around two hours by car. It was a rainy day, thanks to the tail end of Hurricane Harvey reaching this part of the country, and once we arrived in Louisville, we found a complete ghost town. Louisville looks like a big city with its skyscrapers, but honestly, there were no people to be seen anywhere at all. Maybe it was just too early? A very, very quiet and empty place nevertheless.

We got dropped off at the Muhammad Ali Center and were then free to go where we wanted. Julcsi and I decided not to do the Muhammad Ali Center because we have zero interest in boxing - apparently, it's quite a good museum when it comes to things like the 1960s and civil rights as well, but we had other things in mind, and so after taking a couple of pictures in the lobby, we left for the Slugger Museum.


The good thing about Louisville is that all the places of interest are very close to each other and there's no need to catch a bus to get to different attractions. I think it took us around 10 minutes to walk to the Slugger museum from the Ali Center.








Now, what is a slugger, you might be wondering? It's a baseball bat, and not just any bat, but the Official Bat of Major League Baseball. I've loved the film A League of Their Own since I was maybe 12 and because of that, I feel this deep love for baseball. Thus, this place was a must for me! The museum part is not particularly large, but you are also taken on a factory tour where you get to see how the sluggers have been made throughout their history, and how they are made now. Very interesting, loved it! You're not allowed to take pictures on the factory tour, but as a consolation prize you get a mini souvenir slugger to take home with you.

The Big Bat in front of the museum.




























Absolutely enjoyed the experience! We then headed for the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, which unfortunately wasn't such a good one for me because of a rude tour guide. Because of him, I wouldn't really recommend the place - otherwise, it was quite nice. We managed to get ourselves on the 12 o'clock tour, and the tour was around 60 minutes. You go from room to room, watch videos, and listen to what the (in our case rude and annoying) guide has to say. At the end of the tour, you have an educational bourbon tasting.



Horse statues are everywhere because of Kentucky Derby.












By this point, we were really hungry and decided to go and find something to eat. This turned out to be tricky - just so you know, the restaurants are mostly on 4th Street! We wandered around, and instead of a restaurant, we ended up admiring the Ohio River with a lovely river boat on its way somewhere.




There was an international festival called WorldFest going on by the river, with food, dance, culture and many other things, and since we were there, we had a brief look at it, too. Apparently this was where all the people of Louisville were spending their Saturday!




Eventually we found our way to 4th Street and Smash Burger, after which we had coffee at Starbucks with a bunch of Fulbrighters.


More horses :).

A 4th Street city view.

Finally - fooooood!
Before leaving, we still had time to quickly pop into the Louisville Visitor Center where you can meet Colonel Sanders of KFC as well as Muhammad Ali, and buy some Louisville merchandise. Very friendly people working there, too!



Finally, we walked back to the Ali Center to meet up with the rest of our group and catch our ride back to Bloomington.

Jennifer Lawrence is from Louisville, too :).

The Muhammad Ali Center.
A nice albeit somewhat gloomy day (it's still T-shirt weather in Bloomington, so this day was an exception weatherwise). I would say that you don't need more than one day to explore Louisville - however, it's a nice way to collect a new state :D! Yay to Kentucky!

Stay tuned for posts on my free time as well as my responsibilities here in Bloomington, Indiana!

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