I kind of feel that the last few blogs have been full on history lessons. Well I hope this one won’t be as lecture-ish.
Everyone one has told us that if we could get there, Savannah was a must, so we were excited to be heading to this city.
We took another Free Tour by foot and learnt that during the Union Army’s march through the south near the end of the civil war they burnt to the ground everything in their path. General Sherman believed the best way to control a population was to destroy its infrastructure.
But, for some reason, General Sherman and his army didn’t destroy Savannah. The official reasoning is that the city leaders begged General Sherman not to burn their city down and even paid him with 50 heavy guns (canons I presume), lots of ammunition and 25,000 bales of cotton (along with the city itself) that he presented to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift in 1864. But there are many theories, one being that he felt Savannah “just too pretty” to burn down, another that a freemason asked for it not be destroyed and as Sherman was a member of the masons, he listened. But the theory I liked the best was that he had a secret girlfriend who lived in Savannah and that is why he restrained his troops for destroying the city.
Who really knows now. But the stories are good.
Savannah is beautiful with all its parks and trees. Originally there were 24 parks and there are still 22 remaining. We were told that when the English arrived the chopped all the trees down in an attempt to make it more like England. Stupid really when you consider the weather in this part of the world.
So the city leaders started a planting program and with amazing foresight planted the trees in the squares and along the roads so that the people would have the best tree coverage and shade in the heat of the summer. I was so very very thankful for these amazing parks and the shade they still provide some 200 years later.
We took a drive out to Wormsloe Historic Site. Wormsloe is the family home of one of the original settlers (Noble Jones) and the only one to stay in the area. It is still in the family, but the family home is not open to the public, just the historic grounds and the magnificent Oak Tree line driveway. The drive is a mile long and just stunning. The 200+ old Oak trees with the Spanish Moss hanging from them is definitely straight out of a movie, and is in many movies I am sure.
The Spanish Moss that hangs from many of the trees we have seen in the southern area of USA, is not actually a moss, it is a Bromeliad (related to pineapples…) and isn’t a parasite. It gets all its nutrients from the air. It got its name from the French who thought it resembled the straggly long beards of the Spaniard.
But I think my best memories of Savannah are the people we met. From Erin and her Mum and their beautiful dog who we met at the Visitors Centre.
And then the tour we took. It is called the Morons Comedy Tour. What a laugh along with more interesting titbits of history. I recommend this tour to anyone visiting Savannah the boys were extremely funny. And not forgetting Brenda our driver, who saved the day with a trolley bus that worked. Danny and Sammy and Brenda you were great.
A wonderful added bonus were the people we met on the tour. Annie and Sarah and hubbies, thank you for your tips for New Orleans (we will be doing our best to get there) and of course the “Beard” inspiration for my No.2. Linda and Guy, thanks for a great evening, more laughs, great conversation and go the All Blacks!!! (Though I think that should be said quietly at the moment).
I did enjoy Savannah and am so pleased we got here (though Charleston still holds my heart), and feel a little sad that we didnt get to see as much as we would have liked to, like Tybee Island. Next time…..