Monday 25 October 2010

Day 59 – Georgia On Our Minds

The South is constantly portrayed as a hot and humid place, but I was sure (despite the decent weather we’ve experienced lately) that by the time we started our descent down the east coast we’d start feeling hints of winter -- it’s the end of October after all…Well, apparently Savannah doesn’t do winter. The day verged on the 90’s one last time (hopefully) on this trip. It’s something I couldn’t decide whether I was for or against because, while seeing the sunshine makes your day feel brighter, it also makes for uncomfortable walking conditions and Savannah is nothing if not a town to be walked around.

Today was the first day we’ve headed outside with no plan, no set route, no map and just two ‘must-sees’ to fit in at some point. I can’t say I enjoyed this new way of travelling; it left us bumbling around for an hour, pretty much walking in circles. We did manage to get a good look at the cities interesting architecture though. It’s a weird mix of beautiful old buildings (some still in use, some run into the ground) with a new structure every so often challenging the landscape to a duel of modern versus classic.
During our rambling we wandered into Colonial Park Cemetery – one of the oldest in the city – but being that there was nobody we ‘knew’ and that it wasn’t particularly eye-catching we left the dead to rest in peace. It did continue our interest in graveyards though as in a nearby store Joe picked up a book about where well-known figures are buried in the world…but visiting all those will have to be a roadtrip we save for another time!
One of the nice things about Savannah’s historic district is that around almost every block is a garden-like square. There are 22 in total, each with their own unique draw; be it a statute or a fountain. The most distinct thing that the town is known for is the gorgeous Spanish Moss hanging from tree branches.
After happening on a couple of different squares we figured it was time to achieve one of our goals for the day: Finding where Forrest Gump had sat to wait for a bus. Although the bench from the movie has now been moved and replaced by a flowerbed it originally sat in Chippewa Square. We spent a few minutes taking photos on the wrong side of the square, but upon realizing our error we were too lazy to personally pose in anymore…Stupid is as stupid does, I guess.
We grabbed a quick lunch at Panera Bread before getting back on the street where we found our second goal: City Market. A small area of art galleries, restaurants and gift shops that had promised to be a tourist’s dream stop. Unfortunately it was little more than a block long and didn’t entertain us past one above-average art store.
Having been put in the mood for art we looked into going to the Telfair Museum of Art as we’d heard this was now home to the original ‘Bird Girl’ statue (made famous on the cover of Savannah-based novel and film ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’). The Telfair is made up of three different museums and they charge $15 for all three. As we only wanted to go into one (and then only to look at one statue) this price seemed a little steep, so we indignantly moved along.
Antiquing took our fancy for a bit and I invested in a sweet retro Garfield phone. It boasted it’s in working order, but for $16 I’m not holding my breath…we’ll see when we get home! The antique stores are mostly by River Street, a waterfront road overflowing with everything City Market offered, just multiplied a few times. It was worth our time just for the candy store specializing in praline. Yum and double yum!
Feeling the weight of walking with humidity on our backs we made our way to the hotel, but not before enjoying Savannah’s trademark Spanish Moss one last time. They add a Southern ambiance at any time of the day, but were especially appealing later on when the inevitable thunderstorm started tonight. Luckily by that point we were resting up nicely in our dry, air-conditioned room.
So, until tomorrow…

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