19.11.2011 - 19.11.2011 24 °C
Unusally I woke up first and Ana was dead to the world so I headed down to the breakfast by myself. It's in an inner courtyard with a glass roof all down in colonial outdoor furniture - really makes you feel like your part of a plantation or something.
Finally Ana wakes up and we headed down to the River - unsurprisingly Savannah is located on the Savannah River and was established by the English to ward off the Spanish from raiding Charleston - no wonder they're snobby up there!!! It's a meticulously arranged city on a grid pattern around 24 squares - unfortunately only 22 squares are still in existance - in the 1960's and 70's old buildings were torn down to build carparks - I kid you not - Savannah has the most number and equally ugly looking carparks I've ever seen - to give you an example how many there are - it was $3 to park your car overnight and for 3 nights it was a total $13 - oh, if only Brisbane had such cheap parking.....
The only haphazard part of the city was down by the river where its a steep walk down to the river level through narrow lanes and extremely crazy steep stairs - it's all cobblestones and its a tough walk on your feet. Now it's all converted warehouses turned into crazy named restaurants, tacky shops, nice gallery shops and tour operators. But the day was bright and sunny and at 24 degrees almost too hot for jeans. We wandered around, had hot dogs on the river terrace, boarded a restored old worlde sailing ship and did some shopping. In fact, I think I am banned from going on holidays with Ana by her husband Ian since we both bought way too much jewellery together.
Savannah is dominated by the local private college affectionately known as SCAD - its the Savannah College of Art and Design and one of the premier places to study creative arts. The institution now owns 60 buildings and has restored quite a few of them. As a result there's lots of offbeat designs shops and its way more avant garde than Charleston. As a result after buying zero jewellery on my trip so far, I've now ended up with quite a few earrings.
The premier shopping street for design is Bull Street - a long street that cuts through at least four squares each designed slightly differently but all with spanish moss everywhere - by day it's wonderfully cool under the large evergreen oaks and at night the spanish moss takes a creepy glow from all the old fashioned street lamps in the street.
That night we headed over to the Pirate House for dinner - we were worried that this was going to be a kitch place with an ordinary menu - its in a old house that genuninely was the home of pirates in 1700's and has secret tunnels where people stupid enough to get drunk ended up stone cold sober on a pirate ship having to work their way towards freedom. It's a ramshackle place complete with 13 old rooms and a pirate shop for the kids. But its not at all tacky - it's filled with antique looking furniture, wobbly floorboards and a great menu - Ana and I both ordered a rather potent drink - some sort of rum punch and I had the shrimp creole style. We followed this up with a key lime pie.
After being suitably fortified we headed towards the Ghost Tour we had booked into - Savannah has been voted the most haunted place in USA - and it has some tough competition but while the volume is down the cases here are pretty tragic - they have had the Revolutionary War, typhoid fevers, the Civil War, pirates and all sorts of crazies reside in Savannah - after all this is the place with 3 cemeteries in the old quarter alone. I wouldn't say it's creepy tour but we did learn lots about the place and its history and the guide was a chatty woman that clearly loved her job - she kept telling us to wait before looking at photos because, you never know, a ghost may develop in the photos - well its now 4 days later and there's definitely no ghost in any of my photos. The creepiest thing was this 400 year oak that was the most beautiful old oak you've ever seen with the widest overhaning branches - unfortunately the union soldiers thought they looked pretty good too and hung over 60 people on the oak - so many its now called the hanging oak.
As you can imagine we were pretty beat after our log day..................