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August 01, 2005 || 10:51 pm
Road trip day 1

The first official day of my summer road trip saw me do a quite meagre 450 miles or so, from Newbern, AL to Savannah, GA, where I am now ensconced post-dinner in the glamour of the Days Inn, whose lack of charm is mitigated by its free in-room broadband.

It wasn't a bad drive, a mixture of smaller roads and interstate, with weather rather like April in England, only much hotter - scattered, sudden, violent showers interspersed with sunshine. I passed through Peach County, GA which strangely seemed to have at least as many pecan groves as peach orchards. I got to listen to lots of the new stuff I put on my iPod from Butch's CD collection, which was really fun - lots and lots of old-time music, folk stuff and old men singing ballads and playing clawhammer banjo and fiddle. Now is really the time when I will get to find out what makes up the 9.6 days worth of music that I apparently have on my iPod...

Savannah is really beautiful. I was most amazed by the (ach, I'm such a spod) urban structure of the waterfront area - the way the warehouses which are at water level connect to the rest of the town at a much higher level, with the little stairs, ramps, bridges and so forth criss-crossing in a really fantastic way. I have photos and will post. Although the waterfront area is really quite depressingly tacky in some ways - this is what 'regeneration' means - it isn't as bad as it could be, apart from the criminally hideous Hyatt hotel which somehow managed to get built right in the middle of this fine urban grain of the little bridges and lovely warehouses, plonked down with zero sensitivity to anything and making a horrible dark underpass out of what should be the continuation of the open, cobbled, trams/people/cars coexisting street. How do they get away with this? The garden squares for which the town is famous are also lovely. I was surprised to see a statue of John Welsey, but apparently he had a parish here or something for a while.

On a Monday at 6.30pm when I started my walk around the old town, it was quite amazingly deserted apart from the waterfront and the City Market area, which were relatively busy though still not at all packed. The main drag of Broughton Street was utterly empty apart from a few more indigent sorts walking around - amazing. Downtown flight must still exist, even with the major renewal of the historic district. Or maybe it was just a Monday thing.



I lived in Savannah for 3 years. It really is a pretty place. If you get a chance, ride out to Fort Pulaski National Monument. Take highway 80 out to the beaches (Tybee Island), the fort is just before the beach. Neat fort, beautiful marshes and beaches.

By Blogger Floridacracker, at 3:01 am  

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