We took a Grey Line bus tour of the historic district of Savannah. The city
surprised us. We expected large estates on lush gardens (a la "Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil"). The city went through depression in the 20th
Century and many (most?) of the older homes were left to fall apart. The
downtown area is really run down. It
seemed like almost half of the houses were for sale or for rent. Some
neighborhoods were in very bad shape, worse than we'd seen anywhere on our
trip, even the bad parts of New Orleans.
In recent years there has been renewed interest in restoring homes to their
original state. We were able to go into a house that is being restored as much
as possible to its original state (it's about 200 years old). This includes
replacing the ugly air conditioning ducts with almost invisible ports, and
painting the walls in period colors.
Savannah was originally planned around a series of squares, and most of the
original ones have survived. They are like mini
parks, each with a garden or a monument of
some kind, and you use them like square round-abouts. In some of the nicer
squares we did find a few grand old homes more like
the ones we'd been expecting.
Sidenote: While we were in Savannah, they decided to modify their state flag, which is currently dominated by the
We left Savannah, drove through South Carolina without stopping or even looking
at the AAA book (although we would have stopped at a plantation had we had the
time) and got to Seema's (a college friend of Lawrence's) in early evening.