Day 5 began by arriving at Mammoth Cave National Park nice and early. I read reviews that the tours tend to sell out quickly, and since I didn't want to wait around for hours and was not too picky about which tour I went on, I got there about 8:15 am. At one point I did consider the longer more challenging tour when you are splunking through the crevasses, I figured that would be a fun way to explore a cave - like so many people many years ago. Those tours however are only given a few times a day and sell out well in advance. I opted for the Domes and Dripstones tour. My friend didn't want so many stairs so she went on another tour that started 15 minutes later but was shorter. We took a short bus ride to the entrance and the tour started. Flash photography is not permitted. What was really cool about this cave/tour are that the passageways are narrow - it felt a bit more like exploring than it did just walking, even though the route was paved and lit. What was not cool about this cave was the massive spiders and towards the end the amount of cave crickets (i think that is what they were). I wore my hood of my shirt over my head for the tour because the spiders were just so...big. and I noticed them from the moment we descended, making me extra cautious for the duration.
From there we drove to Nashville, TN. I didn't have a set itinerary of things to do/see, so as we were driving and we saw the sign for the Grand Ole Opry we got off the highway. First we came to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and we walked around this magnificent place. Not only is this place huge, but the common area was essentially a greenhouse with amazing flowers, trees and plants. Beautiful walkways, many restaurants...so relaxing. We walked all around and had an adult beverage before leaving. Maybe next time I am around I'll stay here for a night.
The Grand Ole Opry was closed, but we managed to get tour tickets for the following morning. So we headed downtown, I think it was Broadway or that area for dinner. The streets were lined with restaurants with live music, tourist shots, boot stores. The nightlife was there - and so where the people.
All in all, I can't say, for me, that Nashville was a favorite place or a place I'd want to go back to again. I am not sure what the appeal is for visitors, aside from country music...but I am glad I was able to see it.