It is hard to describe the feeling I had traveling to the South, to Charleston and Savannah, in late March. Just to remind you, March, even April, in Baltimore could be cruel, barren and cold, but in the Southern land, Spring is in the full bloom, already warm and humid, lush and colorful. I would say, when you travel to the South in this part of the year everything looks magic.
Charleston in South Carolina and Savannah in Georgia are places so unique, something that I have never experienced in my travels around U.S. Although I live on the East Coast, this is something far more exciting and beautiful. If these places are not visited by hurricanes (as someone who comes from Europe where the nature is less violent, I am terrified of them) I could move here easily.
This trip was a present for my birthday. On the trip, I got cold and there were many days with heavy rain, but nothing could stop me to enjoy it and take pictures as much as possible.
I decided to come to Charleston after watching the music video for Come Back Song of Darius Rucker, who used to be a singer for the band "Hootie & the Blowfish". Although there wasn't much to see of Charleston in that video, I was immediately attracted by mysterious, almost gothic feel of that city, so wanted to go there.
Charleston was even more beautiful than I expected. I was very impressed by old architecture, charming streets, small passages, colorful facades, amazing vegetation, although some plants were still leafless and flowerless, gorgeous private gardens and houses, everything looked worth to be captured by camera.
Is is funny, I have noticed this flower pot with number 25 on Rucker's video, on 20th second, although video was made years ago.
Food was good and even less expensive than in Baltimore. We ate all good stuff from the Southern cuisine, grits, shrimp&grits, jambalaya, biscuits, fried green tomatoes, etc. To be honest, I do cook them all the time at home so it was not something new and exciting to me. I loved the restaurants with simple decor, many rooms and cozy backyards.
We stayed at The Mills House hotel and loved its elegant old-times charm, it has fabulous lobby, where you can hear someone playing piano, and a very nice restaurant where we had a great breakfast.
Historic part of Charleston with residential area, on the tip of peninsula, was my favorite. It is hard to find such beautiful old houses with gorgeous gardens.
I was peeking from through iron gates to capture the beauty.
Savannah, although close to Charleston, is a pretty different city, but not less attractive. I love the way how it is designed, with so many squares and parks, fountains, beautiful villas, amazing southern oak trees with fern and hanging Spanish moss, including lively art scene, even huge cargo ships passing my high-rise hotel's room impressed me a lot.
There was one particular reason why I wanted to see this place, not original though, since it motivated many people to come here. Last winter I had seen movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I had discovered later on that it was based on a true story. On the next picture you can see Mercer-Williams house where the murder happened. The owner, Jim Williams, a preservationist and antiques dealers, famous for throwing elaborated parties, killed his young lover, and later on went through four trials to prove not guilty. He passed away six months after last trial, reportedly on the same exact spot in the house where murder took place.
Charleston was the city of cotton farmers and Savannah was the one of the cotton brokers. This is the building of Cotton Exchange.
Yes, Savannah is the home of Paula Deen, a food celebrity... I made so many southern dishes using her recipes. Her dishes and desserts have a ton of calories but they are truly delicious.
I feel sad I didn't stay longer in the Southern land, there are so many things to see and do, and I didn't have time for it. But, I plan to come back one day.