|The city of Savannah has been on my bucket list for many years, long before the movie gave us the concept, and it certainly has not disappointed me. Some friends of mine, Lori and Ernie Sloan, are camp hosts at a military campground at Ft Stewart which sometimes allows non-military types to camp here so I got to spend the week with them. They are very gracious hosts and quite knowledgeable about the area also. The campground here, called Holbrook Pond after this,
is small but well kept and the only noise comes from the shooting ranges where the 3rd Infantry Division practices their skills. As they like to call it here, “the sound of freedom”. We headed into downtown one day and our plan was to take a narrated tour with a lady my hosts know named Angela. It is a narrated tour but no stops on this bus .
Angela was informative and entertaining and we got to see most of the beautiful squares, many historic homes, churches and even city hall with its golden dome. This city was laid out by its founder, James Oglethorpe before he left England and its plan is world renowned. This restored train station
now serves as the visitor center where you can receive much information, check out the museum, watch the history of the city on video, browse in the gift shop or even eat lunch in a restored railroad car. Next we headed to River St for lunch and to see the sights. We picked a restaurant with a balcony so we could take pics like this
I also got this shots of the bridge
and a hotel.
As we ate, the rain really picked up so that we were forced to move indoors to finish. But before the rain, Dock took this one of Lori and me
We visited several stalls in this market
and several other stores along the cobblestone street
hoping the rain would diminish enough so that we could actually visit some of the squares and places we had learned about on our tour, including several sites from well known movies such as Forest Gump, Something to Talk About and The Legend of Bagger Vance .I did get excited when this ship came down the river
but was told by a passerby that it wasn't even a big one! I told him it was to a girl from Ohio! look at the man standing in the doorway way up top for some perspective
I was also really looking forward to seeing Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace, the founder of the Girl Scouts, and Paul Deen’s restaurant but the weather just would not cooperate. I saw all of them through the windows of the bus, but didn’t get photos. Oh well, as my friends say, now I have a reason to come back. It’s a beautiful city so I really don’t need an excuse but I definitely will return someday. Yesterday we drove over to Tybee Island, a refuge from the heat and humidity of the city dating back to the late 1800s. Early visitors had to travel by steamship, then a train line was built to make the beach more accessible. That line is now path for walking or biking. First stop was The Crab Shack “where the elite eat in their bare feet” according to the brochures.
We just walked around a bit and looked at animals
, the outdoor dining area
and played tourist
Again, someday, I’d like to come back and try the menu with all the fresh seafood offerings. We found a convenient place to park downtown which was preparing for their St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled for later that afternoon across from this fountain.
We strolled down the street to look in the shops and visit a small bar
My host is nicknamed Dock and talked them into offering him a free beer and Lori and I received beads from an older gentleman there.
Next, we walked out to this pier
to look at the beach
and watch some kids surfing on little boogie boards (?) Not being a surfer, I don’t know the correct terminology but this little guy was pretty good, I thought.
We even saw this leprechaun
who got out of his golf cart to pose for me. Next we headed out to the Tybee Island Light Station, one of the nation’s oldest and tallest lighthouse.
It was originally built in 1773 and the lower 60 feet is original, but after a fire set by the confederate Army, 94 more feet were added. I bought a ticket and climbed up 178 steps like these
to the top, pausing along the way to take pics like these
Dock and Lori had been there many times and their friend Tom wasn’t really interested but they patiently waited at the bottom
. At the top, there was a catwalk around the building but my fear of heights kicked in since it was so exposed so I contented myself with taking more photos
and this is battery Garland,
an important part of the island's defense. This light is called at First Order Fresnel lens,installed in 1867 and could be seen 18 miles out
Now, I started back down
to take a quick tour of the grounds where the lightkeeper’s cottage
which was furnished to represent the appropriate time period
Last, but not least, we stopped at Fort Pulaski
for a little history. This was the first post for a young man named Robert E. Lee after he graduated from West Point. It is built with other 25,000,000 bricks like these
and is mostly intact because its commander, General Olmstead, surrendered the fort once the Union navy began shooting the new rifled cannon balls. We learned that this battle forever changed the warfare and defense of seaports since it proved that masonry was simply no match for the rifled ammunition.
Volunteers dress in period uniforms and pose for photos
When I mentioned something about him being a Yankee, he said that the next day they would be wearing Confederate grey. Here are some more views from inside
and of the moat from on top where the guns were
and of course, a cannon
We really liked this flag, notice the stars on it
It was a beautiful day and a great outing. Next stop, Charleston.