Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SAVANNAH : 23rd-25th June 2011
A Gracious Southern Belle
After an overnight sail from Cumberland Island we arrived at the mouth of the Savannah River around 0800. Our journey continued another 18 miles upstream  to the City of Savannah passing farm land, marshes and industrial plants along the river banks. After checking the guide book it was becoming clear that there was really no close anchoring area to the town.The book did mention that there was a public town dock which was on a first come basis with no time limit. Now, usually, we are very dock phobic but this one was a beauty. Smack bang in the centre of town this floating dock was in the prime position for visiting all the main sites, shops and local restaurants. Once we were tied up we soon realised that we’d made the right decision as the river was quite narrow, the current very swift and the amount of commercial shipping and ferries going past made us very pleased that we didn’t have to anchor out.
The sight of two large cats at the dock drew quite a crowd with many tourists having their holiday snaps taken with GWTW as the background and  apart from one or two small runabouts, there really wasn’t a lot of room left for anyone else to tie up. We toddled up to the marine, office paid our fee ($1.50 per ft) and were on our way to explore the place. First stop of course was Starbucks, for a quick coffee and email check and then we were off to wonder the beautiful streets and parks of this leafy city. Consulting the Lonely Planet and the visitors maps, we strolled down towards one of the parks that reputedly was the home of the Forrest Gump famous park bench. All the benches looked the same so we searched high and low for a little plaque bearing his name, but to no avail. After asking a local tour guide of its whereabouts we headed over in the direction he pointed. So down we sat, had the obligatory photo shoot, looked around for the box of chocolates and the little leather suitcase and then mentally ticked that one off the to-do list.
IMG_5195 Next stop was the Savannah Museum, just a couple of blocks away. There  were some interesting exhibits about the shipping, dental, rail industry and quilting but it was a tad curious and a little disjointed. We were hoping for a little more about the civil war and slavery but perhaps the latter is on the taboo list. Maybe we’ll find that info somewhere else. The one thing that  was on exhibit was the Forrest Gump Bench! 
We stopped for a quick snack in the museum’s railway dining car and then continued our walking tour about town visiting the huge Forsyth park with its beautiful fountain and shaded green lawns, where the squirrels climbed the trees, and happy dogs chased their Frisbees.     IMG_5230                   IMG_5224
Grand antebellum homes and churches still surround the twenty one of the original twenty four parkland squares and many of these historic homes are open to the public for tours. Down on the waterfront most of the old cotton warehouses have been transformed into fine dining venues or bars. On Friday evenings the tourists are out in force strolling the river front  promenade listening to the musicians and gospel preaches.
    IMG_5198                           IMG_5214
Interestingly, on the weekends everyone who entered a bar was asked for ID, including Liam, but once inside you could purchase you beverage (in a plastic glass) and go back out onto the streets and wander around. This created a nice community atmosphere without any drunkenness or violence.                                                                             IMG_5281 IMG_5259
Savannah seemed to be a town that had everything, from trendy places to eat to placard carrying seniors intent on getting their message across. Everyone was  friendly and it was well worth stopping here to see a little slice of southern Georgia.                            IMG_5191                                                       IMG_5190

No comments:

Post a Comment