Thursday, September 25, 2008

Savannah Trip Day 4- September 21 Charleston, SC

We spent Sunday morning touring downtown historic Charleston. We opted to take a carriage tour to save my aching feet a bit (I had a rather large blister on my left foot from all of the walking in Savannah and the cobblestone and tabby sidewalks weren't helping) and we would get to hear local history and stories that we wouldn't otherwise hear.
One of the roosters that was wandering around the carriage barn- he was looking for handouts from waiting guests, but he would let you pet him briefly too.
a couple of the prettier doorways that we came across during our one hour carriage tour.

and it seems like every time you turn a corner in Charleston there is another church just ahead of you- one of Charleston's nicknames is the "holy city" because of it's high proportion of churches to it's population. Of course it is also known as the "city of decadence" for all of the other business types that abound in the city as well ;) Here are a few of the large churches we spotted on our tour.

The Charleston Custom House.
The start of the local market on Market street- buildings run down the middle of the street from here to the where the waterfront used to be and small vendors set up their tables with everything from local foods, to sweetgrass baskets to various types of art. We stopped and bought a small slate tile piece with a painting of the Bay St. rainbow row houses on it for a souvenir.
Rainbow Row on Bay St.- all of the painting and drawings you see are interpretations of it as it used to look, as there are so many trees along the sidewalk and it no longer runs along the edge of the bay as the city has been following land reclamation for many years. The slate roof tile we bought actually came from the roof of one of the rainbow row houses and was torn off during a hurricane.

After a quick lunch at a Market St. deli, we drove out to the northwest part of town to see the Magnolia Plantation. The gardens were beautiful, even without many flowers blooming. I guess coming from fall in Colorado where things are mostly brown, it is just amazing to see so much green everywhere.

We took their black water swamp boat tour (it is called black water because the Cyprus trees secrete tannins into the water that make it look black, and heard about the rice plantation farming techniques and saw some of the local wildlife. Blue herons, great egrets, and snowy egrets, along with a couple of other birds I can't remember the names to, abounded along with small alligators. Our guide said they have an alligator named Willy that is over 15 ft long, but he did not grace us with an appearance. A blue heron:
Great Egret:
I can't remember the name of this bird, but he is drying his wings off after diving for fish, as he doesn't have oil glands like ducks and other water fowl do. You can see the alligator on the board in the background.

After we were done with the plantation garden walk and buying a souvenir in the gift shop to turn into a Christmas ornament, we drove back into Charleston for dinner at a local fish restaurant off of market street- AW Shucks- and then we drove back to Savannah for the last day of our vacation.

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