You may have been wondering what I’ve been up to for the past few days…well let me tell you. It’s been pretty interesting being in the south and particularly in Savannah, Georgia! If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love curvy roads, old cemeteries and interesting architecture and this trip is satisfying all of these interests.
On the ride to Savannah I took Route 321 and came across a couple of treasures. The first was on old abandoned service station with the most amazing architecture. Here’s a few photos of what I found:
The other treasure was an antique store that had a great collection of old service station signs. I’m sure that some of you will recognized a few that haven’t been around for awhile.
Entering Savannah, Georgia was pretty spectacular with the expanse of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. The river separates South Carolina and Georgia. My hotel was fairly close to the bridge which is located on the north side of Savannah’s Historic District. At night you can see the cars crossing over to South Carolina which is located on the other side of the bridge.
Touring the city was even more wonderful than I had imagined. It is very different from Charleston, South Carolina which I visited two years ago on one of my motorcycle vacations. Savannah was established in the late 1700’s and built around 24 squares of which 22 continue to exist today. Unfortunately two of the city squares were lost to development of a highway and a parking garage.
The city’s history is rich and filled with stories of financial ruin due to an economic crisis in 1819, followed by a fire in the warehouse district along the river where cotton, lumber, and turpentine were stored for shipping. You could have seen that one coming. This was then followed by an outbreak of yellow fever in 1820, which was believed to have be the result of something airborne. The lack of hygiene wasn’t considered, despite human waste being dumped into the streets, river, and nearby swamps.
Many of the historical homes are breathtakingly beautiful and have been restored with incredible attention to detail and past historical significance. Photography is not allowed inside the houses but as you will see from some of the pictures, the exteriors are equally as amazing and very rich in detail and architectural design.
Many of the city streets in the Historic District are paved with brick and river stones making it interesting for scooters and motorcycles. As a result the trolley bus was my primary mode of transportation while in the city 🙂
The cemetery was also of interest with many of the grave markers going back to the late 1700’s. Tragically, many of the tombstones were vandalized by the Union soldiers from the north when Sherman brought 60,000 troops into Savannah which had only 20,000 residents at that time. The headstones that were vandalized are displayed on the back wall of the cemetery. Interestingly, the tour guide mentioned that over the years the deceased were buried one on top of another until there was as little as two feet of soil between the remains and the surface. This eventually caused a problem resulting in many of the bodies being exhumed and moved to new cemeteries.
In addition to the history and amazing architecture, Savannah is filled with a wonderful selection of street cafes, restaurants and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets. One of the places I dined at was Corleone’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant close to the City Market and my hotel. Christine, thank you for the wonderful service and it was nice running into you while we were walking around town.
Another interesting experience was to taste boiled peanuts which is a snack enjoyed by many of the locals. In the early 1800’s when the Union Army was then occupying Savannah food supplies were dwindling and the soldiers resorted to boiling peanuts in salty water as an alternate food source. I must say they were tasty.
I must say that visiting Savannah was a wonderful experience! If Savannah, Georgia is not yet on your bucket list, I’d highly recommend that you add it as it’s well worth the trip.
Next stop…Florida here I come! And I’m thinking I just might need to trade in my motorcycle boots for sandals 🙂