Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Trip - Savannah

We left today with Gina. And a map. And the flyer from the RV Park with the address on it.

We didn't get lost.

Rather than a carriage tour, we opted for an on-and-off trolley tour of Savannah. The weather was much warmer than in Charleston, and I got by just fine with a sweatshirt instead of my heavy wool coat. But there was a disadvantage to the trolley: The drivers go much faster than a horse does, so it makes it more difficult to get good photos on the fly. I've got quite a few pictures with a lamppost or a tree smack in the middle of where I didn't want it.

Savannah has different districts. The Historic district, the Victorian district, the Riverfront (the Savannah River), and we toured many. These homes are from the Victorian district.

When General James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, he banned four things:

1) Slavery
2) Strong liquor (wine, beer, and ale were allowed, as Gen. Oglethorpe was fond of his ale)
3) Catholics (he was afraid they would side with the Catholic country, Spain, which was England's enemy to the south in Florida)
4) Lawyers (people should be able to work out their disagreements, and if not, duels would settle them once and for all)

His prohibitions didn't last.

This church is St. John the Baptist Cathedral, a Catholic church.

We got off the trolley to see the inside of the cathedral. The interior is ornate, with stained glass and gothic arches and sculptures of the saints, but most of my pictures were too dark. This is the basin of holy water just inside the door.

Back on the trolley, we drove through Savannah's residential areas, around many of the Squares that are small parks at the center of each neigborhood. Someone told us that only one of the Squares has trees that have no Spanish Moss, and people have speculated that it's because so many people were hanged in that Square that the moss refuses to grow. But we saw two or three Squares without the Spanish moss. Most of them, though had plenty.

Here is a house of no particular historic significance.

We stopped for a tour of one of the historic houses. The Davenport House is the one that started the restoration of Savannah's legacy.

In 1955, a developer was getting ready to demolish the Davenport House to build a parking garage, and seven wives of prominent men in the city objected. They got donations (mostly from their husbands) and purchased the house, then began restoring it. By their example, they inspired the saving and restoration of Savannah. Without them, the city would likely not have the tourist industry it depends on now.

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the house, except in the gift shop in the basement (former slave quarters and kitchen for the house), so that's where I took pictures.

A watch.

A bottle in the window.

After the tour, we were able to see the courtyard, which hasn't been restored to its 1827 "splendor" the way the house has. Courtyards in that day were just dirt and were used for working. This one has a garden, designed by an Englishwoman after the house was saved from demolition. Around the corner from the back porch was this reflecting pond with a few goldfish in it.

After the residential neighborhoods, the tour turned toward the riverfront, stopping at a market along the way.

This wagon is near the entrance of the market.

And this is the Pink House Restaurant & Tavern, a famous, fancy, and pricey place to eat in Savannah. We just looked.

At the end of the tour, our final driver/tour guide gave out a list of books that tell about Savannah. The history here goes from colonial days (with its ban on Catholics and lawyers) and the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, when General Sherman did NOT burn it down but used it as a seaport for the Union.

And Gina got us back to our RV Park just fine.

1 comment:

Delta said...

Sigh...I just love your trip! And I love the pics...keep em' coming!

My kiddo likes em too!