Saturday, 15 June 2013

Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Sometimes when you arrive in a new place, you want to get out and explore the area but really have no idea where to start. Savannah felt like this to us - we wanted to see the gorgeous buildings and grandeur that we knew was in the city, but had no real plan (well I didn't!) of where to go to find it. So Ash and I decided to go on a hop on, hop off trolley tour of the city.

Old Town Trolley Tours were great little buses with wide open windows. There was 13 stops on the route and if you stayed on for the whole ride it took about 90 minutes. However, the trolley was a hop on and hop off tour where the tickets were valid for the whole day. Ash and I started at the first stop and hopped off first at Forsyth Park, then at the waterfront, and then in the city for lunch.

The word that comes to mind when I picture Savannah I mentioned above - grandeur. This city has it in droves - grand buildings, grand history, grand squares and grand towering oak and magnolia trees lining all roads. It is a truly beautiful city that melds the old and the new quite well with each other. I have included some pictures to show how wonderful Savannah looks, even in the misty weather we faced. It was still quite humid even with the clouds that covered the sky and stopped the sun from showing - a true southern rain day!

Savannah's Town Hall - the dome at the top is covered in 23 carat gold.

One of the many gorgeous green tree filled squares in the city.

Forsyth Park fountain - so pretty!

Ashlee in the mist watching the 'boat' - this container ship
was moving faster down the river than we were strolling!

The Waving Girl statue. Her story is that she stood on the dock
 every day waving at every ship that came into the harbour,
waiting for her fiancé to return on his boat. He never did and she died
40 years later never seeing his face again.

Savannah's River walk area - great cobblestone street
look and old rails set into the road.

Savannah's Riverwalk area again.

The bell that would ring to signal the end of the workday.

The old marketplace area - Savannah has great little pockets of
historical looking areas throughout town.

We had to walk down some very steep stairs in the rain
 to get to the Riverwalk area :-)

We were planning on utilising the trolley and on/off more, but the whole morning was misty wet and then about 1pm the clouds just opened up and poured the rain down! Torrential is how I would describe it! Thankfully the rain slowed down after about 45 minutes, but then it started again as we were driving back to the hotel. Driving in torrential rain when you can't really see the lines on the road or what's in front of you is not great to be doing for longer than 5 minutes, let me tell you!

Tybee Island

About 45 minutes away from Savannah is Tybee Island. We headed this direction the day after the torrential rain storm passed by. It is also known as Savannah Beach and is a great stretch of sand along the Atlantic with sand dunes and large houses overlooking the view. Downtown driving in looks similar to other beach communities (it bought to mind driving into Inverloch, Victoria!) but the beach is exactly which I picture from movies and TV set in Georgia and North Carolina!

Looking over the sand dunes to the pier.....

Ready to inhabit movie scene....... ;-D

...... Ash enjoys the view!

Tybee Island is kind of known for its lighthouse. It is over 270 years old and is one of America's most intact lighthouses, as it has all of the historic support buildings on the five-acre site. It has 178 stairs winding up to the top and of course I had to climb to the top!

The lighthouse :-)

Views from the top! The beach line......

It was a tad blowy when I reached the top - the wind actually
blew me back around the corner when I tried to walk
around the outside to start with!

On the way back from Tybee Island, we came across a National Monument called Fort Pulaski. It was an awesomely designed fort that was kind of star shaped and had hillocks protecting the front of the fort and rooms hidden underneath them.......

Looking at the front of Fort Pulaski - you can't see it past the mounds!

A look at the mounds hiding the front door from the roof......

The unassuming entrance

Some information about the mounds protecting the entrance!
(I am a teacher after all! hehehe)

They had a section inside taken down to the ground of the
different parts of the walls..... pretty interesting!

The view from the top - all down the river!
Savannah was a great stay - we saw some great, grand areas of the city and found a wonderful little beach community on the beach close by. Definitely a place I would spend more time in at a later date - I actually can't wait to spend a day just wandering the city again without the torrential rain!! :-)

On the rain - driving through Tybee Island I saw the City Town Hall and noticed an interesting structure outside...... a hurricane storm surge level!

More on the road to come......

Keep smiling,
Candice :-)

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