Sa-vay-annah

The sun shone in a clear blue sky, but a biting wind didn’t bode well for our plans for a leisurely stroll through Savannah on foot. Like a formal garden, Savannah is a very logical grid of streets, studded with another grid of twenty-one large, beautiful squares, each with its own unique character of fountains, monuments, moss-hung live oaks, and lacy iron fences. This wasn’t designed by city fathers out of enlightened ideas of shade and green-space, but by generals, to provide training grounds for their troops during the revolutionary war. We were told that driving around the city is easy, once you get used to the right-angle jogs these squares create.

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We parked at the visitors’ center and noticed the wind had grown worse. We also noticed an inviting line of trolley/tour buses. We chose one with nice, tight, clean, windows to block the wind and allow for photography.

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If you don’t have much time, it’s a very good way to get a sense of what’s in Savannah, its history, legends, (of which there are many, from ‘haints’ (ghosts) and pirates, to literary inspirations) and the hundreds of movie scenes that have been shot here. Our first driver was a young man whose packaged spiel was somewhat distorted by the loudspeaker just above our head. He laced his factoids with jokes, but his timing wasn’t all that good. Our ticket allowed dismounts and re-boarding at any of the 16 stops, so we got off at East Broughton St. and stumbled by good luck upon Leopold’s Ice Cream, est. 1919, famous for its secret family recipe for ice-cream and prize-winning desserts. After remarkably good tuna and chicken sandwiches, we split an apple pie ala mode with rum bisque ice-cream. The layers of apple slices reminded me of a small fortification, shored up by a tall straight-sided crust, topped with streusel, and buttressed by ice cream. It lived up to its bally-hoo.

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After a bit of exploration on foot, the nip in the air drove us to board the next available trolley. Cindy was our new driver, a lean, blonde, raspy-voiced grandmother, who’d accompanied her cindy2.jpgOrkin Man daddy as a child to the hundreds of pirate tunnels which run under the old city to the Savannah River. With a braying laugh at changing times, she shared her recollection of trash and rats along the Savannah River. Now it’s all cobbled river-walks, parks, and shops, with more under construction. She served up Savannah’s history with a delicious side of ‘twang’ as she maneuvered her favorite (and only Ford in the fleet) trolley down impossibly narrow lanes without missing a beat. Her timing was excellent, and by catching her particular trolley, so was ours.

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One Comment on “Sa-vay-annah”

  1. Diane Gallo Says:

    This entry is very professional. Travel article professional. Well done. Loved the fountain picture – actually all the pictures. Looks like a lovely laid back kind of place in the right temperature.


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