Sexy, sultry, Savannah

Posted on November 25, 2008
Filed Under Travel | Leave a Comment

            Savannah, Georgia, strikes me as the epitome of the image of the South as a steaming cauldron of romantic, sexy, intrigue. New Orleans is the city of uninhibited, in-your-face raunch where midwestern college girls expose their breasts for beads. Savannah is the city of the veiled invitation, lazy ceiling fans and genteel discretion.

            It is an old-fashioned city. Most of the downtown has been preserved.  Founded by a Brit, James E. Oglethorpe in 1733, the first planned city included a pattern of blocks reserved as public parks. Oglethorpe had four rules: no slaves, no Roman Catholics (they might side with the Spanish enemy to the south) no liquor (wine was fine) and no lawyers (he had had a bad experience with lawyers).

            That may sound good but it did mean many examples of the alternatives to lawyers – duels.

            As a major seaport, the cotton capital and a frontier opposing the Spanish, the British during the war of independence and the Union during the Confederate secession attempt, Savannah played a significant role in US history.

            Now tourism and its very active Savannah College of Art and Design, make it a tourist mecca. Many of the historic property renovations are carried out by the college and the art college culture produces a huge number of interesting artists and crafts people.

            The hop-on, hop-off trolley services make for convenient roaming around town. You can sit, rest and learn in one of the open buses, hop off wherever you like and get back on when you are ready. The trolleys take you past the home where the violent death took place in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and the park where Forrest Gump’s bus bench was located. John Wesley preached in Savannah. The Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American war of independence, returned to Savannah in 1825 to pay tribute to pay homage to another war hero, Count Casimir Pulaski.

            Savannah could be called the city of statues. There are tributes in every park.

            The riverfront is an interesting collection of stores, galleries and restaurants with a sweet southern flavour with interesting views of river traffic.

            People wanting a sample of hearty, basic southern cuisine are sent to Mrs. Wilke’s  Boarding House. There people are seated at large tables and platter after platter, bowl after bowl of barbecue, collard greens, sweet potatoes, grits and anything southern you can think of just keep coming until patrons are stuffed like ticks in a pack of country hounds.

            Savannah is perhaps most clearly described to Canadians as the Quebec of the south.

            And, oh, would you believe Savannah has the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S.? The locals say Savannah has the second largest and New York has the second best.

            Savannah is up there with Venice and Quebec City as locations I would recommend for a second honeymoon.



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