Checked out of the lovely Athens for our long drive south to Savannah, South Carolina. This was a lets-be-the-tourists-that-we-are stop and also a place where Caroline had checked out the local cuisine with one place already booked and another on the agenda. Can’t remember the drive as I write this, except we stopped for a stop and snacks at a place where the local sheriff was at, so it was either good, or cheap, or they have a lot of trouble – I think it was good.
Savannah is a grid town, Savannah has a lot of one-way streets, Savannah has a cobble-stoned waterfront, and break your ankle if not careful kind of paving – where Ms TomTom sent us as for some reason she prefers the back-entry to any location we are headed rather than the front door. But it was kind of interesting seeing the waterfront walk by car rather than foot as it was one hell of a steep climb to get down there – and break your ankle if not careful kind of paving.
We checked into our very nice Cottonsail hotel right on the river with a great river view. Only problem, at this time (or maybe at this time when we were there) we said goodbye to the great weather we have been having to some warm but wet, and I mean wet, weather.
Savannah is a tourist town and reminded us a lot of Natchez (see my posts from our last trip). It has a great history and many parks (or squares) among the grid roads. It’s easy to get around, if you don’t include walking down the narrow and well worn steps and cobbled roads to the riverfront (our hotel had an elevator). It really was a beautiful place and so many things to look at or tours to join. We decided to walk it ourselves, sure we missed out on the commentary but we went the same places as the buses or horse and carts and went at our pace and could stop and take a photo rather than hope the shutter goes off at the right time as the bus drives on by that great home you wanted to snap.
Lot of films and TV in Savannah, including Forrest Gump – I have not seen all that film so didn’t take a photo of the park bench – or actually the place where the park bench was as it is actually a one way sign as the bench was set up only for the film. But there were plenty of other benches as we swam, I mean walked around. We had a couple of days here so could see many of what was needed to be seen.
We also had an opportunity for some great food. Caroline had booked an evening at The Grey, which was the old greyhound bus terminal transformed into a restaurant – this was great with excellent food (the BBQ slow-cooked rabbit was one of the tastiest things we have ever eaten) and some nostalgia as they have kept the interior as best they could. And for one breakfast we went to Collins Quarter. This is owned by some Australians and named after Collins St in Melbourne – the breakfast was magnificent and the coffee tasted like it was made in Collins Street. We were not disappointed and as the Savannah film festival was on we also sat at the next table to some famous people (or so Caroline said and she knows about that stuff).
I loved how dog friendly or maybe dog practical this place was. The bins for dog poo collection were actually built into the ground and you just opened them with your foot – keeps everything below the ground and not above collecting flies and whatever. The picture of the collect your dog poo was also amusing with a woman in high heels – obviously a sign of very proper dog walkers in this town (and we did see some like that).
Back to the tourist things – the river front area is a cobbled path of restaurants and souvenir like shops. Good for some – not us. It was a bit overdone and I’m sure no locals eat down there (I could be wrong and we could have missed out on some extra specials – could have). In fact, Savannah really does cater for the tourist and there were a lot in town. The only thing that kept them away was the rain – first day not too bad but the day we did most of our walking it absolutely pelted down. But we withstood the weather, and Caroline bought an umbrella, and we did have another great coffee at the Fox Bakery or something like that.
Would I put Savannah on my list of worthwhile places – yes. Would I make a trip to go back – I’ve done it now. But the homes and history and parks and the river area are worth seeing, you can close your eyes and just imagine what it would have been like during the various wars. Or you could close your eyes and pretend you’re Forrest Gump.
And something we never found out was what was the “celebration” in the park that caused purple ribbons to be tied around the trees and purple dye put into the fountain. Made for some interest and fun.
Couple of days here then north up the coast to Charleston.