Saturday, April 13, 2013

Charleston, South Carolina

Odometer  30,090 miles
Trip 0

 We admit it.  We almost didn't stop at Charleston, South Carolina.  We had just toured two historic south Atlantic coastal cities; St Augustine and Savannah, and we thought we might be saturated.
Well- It's a good thing we did not stay away!  Charleston is different.  I hope I can describe how in these few photos.  Joan and I drove into the city in our toad, and parked "South of Broad" on King street, and gathered up our cameras for a walking tour.  Charleston is a peninsula, and Broad Street sections off the very tip of the peninsula and everything south of Broad is the historic district.

The houses and buildings are beyond fascinating and beautiful, the gardens are lush, the ornamental iron is exquisite, the smell of Daphne, Wisteria, and roses tumbled over the sidewalks and filled our senses
Cast iron was the rage in the 17 and 1800s the more you had the more status you got  We saw a lot!.
 I especially liked this gate blocking an alley driveway

 Hmm- this one looks awesome too!

When we got to the waterfront we were greeted by- wait for it- ANOTHER cable stay bridge!
What happened here?  Did the salesman drive down the coast selling cable stayed bridges and everyone bought one?  Well- they do look great, and it's roadway is 186 feet above the water- you could float a15 story building under it with room to spare, so if you need to sneak a freighter under it, that would be handy.
The concrete and steel spar towers are a lofty 575 feet above the river.
 The bridge cost 700 million dollars.(gasp)!  The main span is designed to endure wind gusts of up to 300 mph and the spars to withstand an earthquake of 7.4 on the Richter scale.  You get what you pay for.  The bridge was completed in 2005 one year early, and under budget- Kudos!

Standing at the waterfront also gave us our first views of Fort Sumter, the first shots fired in the Civil War were fired here at this fort.
 You can see it right?  It's that tiny hump on the horizon about the middle of the picture.

Okay- okay- I'll enlarge it for you a few million times.
This is the enlargement from the photo above.  Fort Sumter was one of five forts guarding the entrance to the harbor at Charleston.  During the opening act of the Civil War the other 4 forts, controlled by the Confederacy, opened fire on the last federal garrison at Fort Sumter. A 34 hour, nearly constant bombardment.  General Beauregard, the Confederate commander ordered each of his forts to fire shots at two minute intervals.  At the end of the bombardment Fort Sumter was nearly in ruins.  The fort was designed to repel attack from the fixed elevation guns that a naval ship would have.  Forts Moultrie, Johnson, and the battery at Cummings Point had cannon that could be elevated to lob munitions into the center of Fort Sumter like the ones pictured below.
 These cannons designed by Colonel George Bomford of the US Army, were called Columbaid cannon designed to shoot at high and low angles.  The two shown here are survivors from Fort Sumter.

Back in town... We walked Murray Boulevard along the seawall and marveled at the craftsmanship of  these homes.
 Joan and I were very impressed with this delightful city.  The homes were all very well-kept and tidy, the streets were very clean and the landscaping was awesome.  Traffic was a lot lighter than we had expected.

Joan loved this house.  The owners turned the front porch into a sort of Chia-pet something-or-other.

Two thumbs up for this beautiful and culturally rich town.  We would come back in a heartbeat.

Each of us took around a hundred photos and I wish I could share them all with you.
We still have one more day in Charleston- and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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