Our roadtrips are usually a combination of research, planning and last minute decisions. Savannah was one of those, “why don’t we stop by there” ideas. We were dropping down to visit Dan’s nieces in Alabama so Savannah wasn’t too out-of-the way.
Had I planned ahead of time, I definitely would have read, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. We quickly could tell the tourist aspect of the city was banking on story familiarity. And, rightfully so, because the book is nonfiction and does capture the feel and history of the city. (I’ve read it since returning home.)
The first thing we did after a good night’s sleep only about 200 feet from the Old Town Trolley Tour is pay up and jump on. All the trolley’s were open sided and had informed and colorful drivers with loads of information about what we were seeing. We could hop off and on throughout the city. Note: we should have ridden the entire 90 minute tour and then started over. Live and learn.
In 1733 James Oglethorpe led a group of colonists from England to start the city he would call Savannah. Oglethorpe was a visionary and social reformer. His colony strictly forbid slavery, was welcoming to all religions, including Jews and other persecuted minorities. He laid out the city on a grid with center public squares and parks. Homes and business where then built around those squares. When Oglethorpe returned to England, his ban on slavery fell away. But, his plan for the physical layout of the city continues to this day.
When Sherman invaded during the Civil War, the city surrendered immediately and provided as it could for the troups which kept it from serious burning and preserved historical buildings.
During the 1950s, the city rescued itself from its neglect of its beautiful and historical past. We were only there for a day, and it was not enough. If we were to go back, I would tour the restored historical homes, haunted or not. Visit the cemetary with a martini and enjoy more of the delicious food. The friendliness of everyone there toward visitors is refreshing even though we were told in the past ten years 50 million people have come to visit town!
Here is a slideshow of pictures—click here or on the picture. The pictures will be full screne if you click “slideshow” on the upper right hand corner.