Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Savannah GA (Day 2)

We got everything tied down last night and boy, did it rain and then it rained some more!!! It takes a LOT of will-power to make yourself go to the bathroom building in that rain in the middle of the night!! Builds character....I think!! This is how Doug felt about the rainstorm in the afternoon!!

We headed into Savannah this morning. We opted for a hop-on/hop-off tour bus. Old Town Trolley was great. We actually found out that they also operate in Washington, DC, San Diego, Key West, St Augustine and Boston. We really enjoyed it. It is $28 per person. A bit pricey but we packed a lunch so we only had to buy a drink. We figured that it evened out the cost, a bit!!

We were amazed at Savannah. We had never really given it much thought. We loved it! It is a lovely sized city and so very beautiful. It was designed in a grid system, much of which is still intact. We thought that was amazing since it has been around since 1733 when James Oglethorpe landed from England with the ship Ann, with 113 other folks and started the colony. He was, apparently, on excellent terms with the local Indian Chief, Chief Tomochichi. That's it for your history lesson. I am sure anyone can Google the history of Savannah to find out more!

Here is a view of just some of the beautiful garden park/square areas, which are right in the heart of Savannah.

So many squares, but sorry, I forgot their names!!


Then came the super neat houses.....



So many of the homes have amazing history to them....
One of my favourite bits of information is about the church below. It is the first African Baptist Church. It is the home of the oldest continuing black congregation in America. Andrew Bryan, a former slave who had purchased his freedom, led the church to official recognition in 1788. This facility was built in the 1850's by free African-Americans and slaves who were allowed to work after their normal work day.  It was a stop on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves and the holes in the floorboards of the sanctuary served as air holes for those hiding underneath. Unbelievable history. Sad but unbelievable. 
But, here is another part of this church's history. Did you know that Martin Luther King gave his "I have a Dream" speech here first, before anywhere else.
Here it is. As good a picture as we could get, on the move....

Sorry, I did not get a picture of the outside
of the bus but this is the inside....
The trolley makes 15 stops in total. They have a very well oiled process and we had a great guide, Barri. She was very knowledgeable without sounding "scripted". We rode the trolley around to Stop 13 and then got off for our lunch at "City Market". A collection of small shops and services, bars, etc. It was nice because it had benches under trees for types like us who packed our lunch. 

Of course, we had to make a stop at the Savannah Candy
Shoppe....and buy some fresh made pralines!! 
After lunch, we walked about 6 blocks back to the River Street (Stop 11) area by the river. This is the area where the cotton was brought in and bought and sold. It was compared to the New York stock Exchange, only for cotton, back in the mid-1800's. Anyway, here are the "historic" steps down to that area. Pretty steep, as you can see! 


So, these little bridges that come off the back of the warehouse buildings
were called the  "Factor's Walk" It is where the buyers stood to look down on the bales
of cotton, that weighed about 1/2 ton each (packed by hand) and bid on them.

Back of the old warehouse buildings - which are mostly now hotels, etc....


You can see the old cobblestones here on the road....


Savannah River behind us.....

More River Street area. Super nice for walking around.....

"THE" very spot where James Oglethorpe landed on Feb 12, 1733.
Pretty neat, huh?
Amazing that it is the exact same spot where our feet landed, huh?

Looking back at, what I believe, is City Hall..... 

Ha ha ha - "We are here".....not sure just where that is though!!
All pictures along the River Street area....


Big boy coming down the river.....wonder where he is headed?
Here is the story of the "Waving Girl" statue. Florence Martus (1868-1943) became known as the waving girl to sailors around the world. Rumour has it that she fell in love with a sailor that left her to go to sea. He said..... "I will be back" She told him that she would wave at each passing vessel until he returned, day and night. Well, the jerk never came back and she waved every day for decades. When she died, it is said that approximately 3,000 sailors came to her funeral. Guess she was pretty popular, huh?
Anyway, that ended our day in Savannah. Like I said, we really enjoyed it. The trolley is the perfect way for us to see a city that we will only have a day to see. At least we get to see the highlights. We would definitely return, given the opportunity. Now, back to the state park we go. It takes about 20 minutes to get there - pretty close.
Remember those fresh pralines we bought....here they are,
served with a piping hot cup of green tea!!
Wednesday will find us on the road towards Memphis. A zigzag route, mostly following Hwy 16, to get us off the interstate and onto the country highways. We are stopping at Cedar Creek Park in Cave Springs, GA. It is nearly at the Alabama border.
Thought for the Day: Start the day with a smile and finish it with champagne!

1 comment:

  1. Strangely enough, we have never been to Savannah, Georgia. Never been to Atlanta either. Guess we'll have to make an effort someday!