Today we had to leave Charleston behind -I didn’t get to take a picture of the pineapple fountain! I’ll have to go back- on another gloriously sunny day, but before heading out to Savannah, Georgia, we stopped by Beaufort, South Carolina, at the behest of our guidebook. It’s a small town on the coast, and against all logic it’s pronounced “BYOO-fert”, because reasons.
Well, this section of the guidebook was clearly written by the same guy who recommended the awful Aiken-Rhett House, because it isn’t that fancy. Bay Street, which is allegedly its main street, has pretty uninteresting stores and one bookstore specialised in local literature. We had lunch at a restaurant that wasn’t anything worth writing home about, and then went house-watching.
This, finally, is a beautiful thing to do there, if not completely worth giving up half a day in Charleston for. There was a neighbourhood of beautiful old houses, impeccably maintained, surrounded by huge, crooked oak trees draped in Spanish moss like someone threw a blanket over them. I’m obsessed with these trees. I want a bonsai oak tree with bonsai Spanish moss that I can keep at home. Who do I have to pay to make that happen?
There was a beautiful tiny square on the corner of a block with one quaint swing hanging from the branches of an oak. If you had seen it in a movie, you would have thought it was a prop!
The road to Savannah was, once again, a completely different landscape than Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. There was water everywhere; even long after having crossed one of the massive rivers we’d continue to drive on roads built directly above or next to marshes. When inland, there were trees draped in Spanish moss as far as the eye could see.
Once in Savannah, we found our apartment right at the beginning of Broughton Street, which is to Savannah what King St was to Charleston: the main shopping/boutique/dining artery in the city. We met our host, who gave us a crash course on the city’s history. Turns out Savannah is Charleston’s younger sister by 40 years -I was sure it would have been the other way round! My guidebook said Savannah is considered to be weirder and edgier than the more traditional Charleston, a view confirmed by our host: apparently Savannah’s economy sank for many years and people fled the centre of the city, and only started coming back in the 90s: hence why it’s a more modern and alternative vibe here now.
After dropping our stuff at the apartment, we took a nice walk up and down Broughton St. It’s quite shorter than King St, but it’s still a bit of a walk. There’s plenty of interesting local businesses to go with the usual suspects. One of them was The Paris Market, full of picturesque house accessories and decoration, with French chansons playing on the background; it felt strange to understand the lyrics when they were probably meant to just provide an exotic soundtrack to the shopping experience. A good start to the last leg of our trip!
Tomorrow we plan to start visiting Savannah’s beautiful squares!