Mention Elvis destinations and people automatically think Graceland and Memphis, Tennessee. But Elvis can be found all over the world, even in the Holy Land.
Unsuspecting travellers along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway probably get all shock up and do a double take when they drive past the 16 foot high golden Elvis statute in the parking lot of the Elvis Inn.
Looking more like something that belongs along the Las Vegas Strip rather than the desert of Israel, this statue, plus another even larger one nearby, would make even the most logical person think they were seeing things.
But they are not. The memory of Elvis, it seems, is alive and well here in an American style roadside diner just outside of Jerusalem. Started by the Yoeli family over 30 years ago, the Elvis Inn is a combination gas station, diner, bar and grill, and gift shop which attracts tourist buses and Elvis fans and impersonators from all over the world.
Inside the Elvis Inn, every possible surface is covered with Elvis memorabilia – mostly pictures, posters, and postcards. But the highlight is ceiling mural, painted over a decade ago by artist Uri Ard. Dramatically outlined in glowing orange neon, the mural illustrates the life and times of Elvis.
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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.
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