Last day in Savannah, last day of holidays… It’s coming to an end, peeps!
Allegedly we were going to suffer storms today, but while it was cloudy most of the day, it didn’t rain at all, so we got to be outside as long as we needed. Our first task today was to walk the length of River Street, the avenue that runs next to the Savannah River. Unlike Broughton Street, which mixes locals and visitors together, River Street is strictly touristy. The shops here can’t hold a candle to the ones in Broughton: here it’s all about cheap souvenirs. As always, it was nice to see water, but like all of our previous destinations the coast here isn’t much to look at. Industrial buildings, a massive tree tall enough for all those gargantuan freight ships to pass under, the occasional 20-storey big-chain hotel… There is a fun peanut store with loots of different sweet and savoury varieties that you can sample!
All in all, it’s the last walk you should take in Savannah, only after you’ve seen all the priceless squares and parks and avenues. The old brick buildings are interesting, and we got to see the Waving Girl, a statue built in honour of Florence Martus, a Savannah native who liked to wave at passing ships for like 40 years! They aren’t kidding when they say this town is a bit crazy!
After climbing out of River Street (turns out water level is lower than the rest of the city) we walked south to visit the Owens-Thomas House, the third and last of the properties of the Telfair Museum. It’s another one of those mansions from the 19th century. Some of the things that are remarkable about this house is that it had indoor plumbing “15 years before the White House and 30 years before the rest of Savannah “, according to our guide, and that it has a bridge inside! For real! The second floor has a tiny, adorable bridge to connect the opposite ends of the house over the staircase. Beyond that, the rest of the house is relatively standard, but it’s true that by this time in our trip our bar for mansion tours is really, really high. It’s gonna be very difficult to find a more impressive house tour (or, just house) than the ones we enjoyed in Oak Alley and Houmas House.
For lunch, we headed over to City Market, next to the new Ellis Square. I believe this is one of the squares that they razed back in the day to make room for a godawful parking lot, but they thankfully changed their mind later on and put the parking lot underground, getting the square back to a pedestrian use. City Market today wasn’t an actual market but a collection of stores and restaurants. It was nice to visit, as there are things to see and a lot of people were out for lunch on a warm Saturday afternoon. Of note is the Savannah Candy Kitchen, a store that would looks straight out of Willy Wonka’s fevered dreams. When we went in they were making soft blue and pink candy right there in an old automated machine and throwing a candy at each person in the store!
Lastly, we had to drive to the Savannah International (!!!) Airport to return our rental car. To get back into town, we took the express bus. For only $5, this bus goes straight to the terminal off Martin Luther King Blvd, no stops. It takes about 25 min, although we have to add to that the 15 min we had to wait for the bus to leave.
Back in town, we made use of the time we had left to revisit some of our favourite shops in Broughton, all in order to get that last couple of souvenirs we had pending! As always, can’t get into detail as some of the recipients may be reading! At Paris Market & Brocante they sold little bags of dry moss… I have no idea what to do with it, but maybe I’ll get my bonsai Savannah after all!
Tomorrow it’s back to rainy, cold, hurried, impolite, y’all-less Paris, via Atlanta… Better start packing begrudgingly!