Friday, April 12, 2013

Savannah, GA

Odometer 29,986 miles
Trip Meter  104 miles

Thursday the 11th was our day to see downtown Savannah, Georgia.  We overnighted in the Savannah Oaks RV park which is 15 miles outside of Savannah proper.  We were able to get into this park on our Passport America discount and the icing on the cake is that the trolley company that does tours of the city, picks us and shuttles us into the city at no additional charge!

The benches in the trolley were old wood slat park benches so we were motivated to get off and walk, which is the way this trolley line works- one can get on and off as many times as they wish during the day.

Savannah is a big city of 150,000 residents not including the impact of thousands of tourists every day.  The streets were laid out in the year 1733 for ox carts- that tells me I don't want to be driving- let someone else do that.  We were reminded often of the rule to keep hands and arms inside the trolley- the reason was demonstrated several times as we barely missed delivery vehicles, and other trolleys by scant inches.
This is a city of town squares- 24 of them!  Forsyth square in the photo above features a water fountain that was ordered from a catalogue- in 1858!.

Savannah was built on cotton.  Savannah establised the Cotton Excange that is like the Wall Street of cotton buyers.  For nearly 30 years- here in Bay Street shown in the picture below- factors walking the bridges above the passing parade of cotton wagons- set the price of cotton, not only in America, but world wide.

Savannah was a rail center for Georgia also.  Cotton was called white gold.  From Savannah it could shipped by rail or by ship, to be finished and woven into textiles.  At the old train yards, Joan and I watched as this steam locomotive chugged onto the round table and took a spin before backing into it's shed for the night.

Savannah like many of it's contemporaries at the time, was subjected to catastrophic fires.  In 1796 and 1820 fires nearly leveled the city, sparing this one wooden structure, which is now the Pirate's House resturant.  It is the oldest wooden building in Georgia.

This is the third city we have visited on the southeast that features a fairly new cable stay bridge
Completed in 1990 the Talmadge Memorial Bridge allows 185 feet of clearance, and a harbor which will accomodate 90% of the world's commercial ships.  According to their website this is the second largest port on the east coast, and the fastest growing port in the US.

Here is a picture of a beautiful early home adjacent to one of the 22 tree covered town squares.

Near noon, we became famished and took off on foot to the market quarter to find some lunch.

We smelled wood smoke and BBQ but could not track it down.  Instead we shared a pannini sandwich and a cup of dark chocolate gelato, and dined at a table under these trees.

The trolley took us back to our RV Park at 4:30 and we were both tired and ready to go.  We took a walk around the RV park which is on the banks of the Ogeechee River.
Joan took this photo of a wooden fishing pier that juts out into the river.  We walked the length of the dock to see if we could spot any wildlife, and all we saw was one turtle and several geese.  The water in the photo is typical of all the rivers and lakes we have seen in Florida and Georgia, a dark root beer color.

Tomorrow we are off to Charleston South Carolina and the Lake Aire RV park.

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan

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