A wonderously beautiful city

Savannah Travel Blog

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James Oglethorpe statue in Chippewa Square

After a great night's sleep and a scrumptious breakfast at our B & B, we decided to take a tour of Savannah on a hop on-hop off bus.  I am so glad we did.  The city is filled with one-way streets and closed streets, so it can be difficult to negotiate.  Poor Roada has conniptions and is  constantly "recalculating" - she has taken us around in circles more than once.  Usually, though, she is just fine.

The bus from Old Savannah Tours, just like all of the other tour companies, is shaped like a San Francisco cable car, only painted white.  They had sent a van to pick us up from our accommodations, a very thoughtful service.  The tour guides are a lot of fun and one, especially, was very jolly and is a part-time actor.

"Sam & Mira" with Bubbie in "Forrest Gump's" park, Chippewa Square
  He made the history dramatic and funny at the same time.  We really enjoyed him. 

Savannah is a wonderously beautiful city.  I did not think it would be possible to top Charleston for the beauty of its historical homes and buildings.  Savannah is, at the very least, its equal.  In addition, though, it has beautiful squares and parks filled with live oak trees covered with Spanish moss.  I also learned the plant is neither Spanish nor a member of the moss family.  It is supposed to be very soft, but it is also the host for chiggers - nasty biting insects that make mosquito bites seem tame by comparison.  Needless to say, I will not be touching any Spanish moss.

We made our first stop at Chippewa Square.

Forsyth Park in Savannah
  There is a tall statue of James Oglethorpe, founder of the city of Savannah.  The movie, "Forrest Gump", was apparently shot there.  I could see the scene of Forrest sitting on the bench saying: "Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna git".  So sweet. 

As we were wandering around gorgeous Forsyth Park, with its magnificent old fountain, we came upon Mikve Israel, the third-oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, founded in the 1700's.  I had hoped to see this place, but I was not sure where it was located.  We had been checking out some of the wonderful ironwork grills on some buildings when I noticed the dome on the temple.

Another view of beautiful fountain in Forsyth Park
  We went over to see what the building represented and it was then we discovered it was the temple.  This is the third oldest Jewish congregation in America and the second oldest in the state of Georgia.  It is of Neogothic architecture and is built much like a Christian church.  Most of the original congregation were Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal.  The rest were Ashkenaz.  It is very beautiful.  A docent gave us a tour, including the museum.  They had a very special Torah made from deerskin that was inscribed in the early 1400's.  After the tour, I asked the docent, Madeline Blank, and the woman who ran the Judaica store, Glenda McNew, to pose with "Sam and Mira", which they joyfully agreed to do.  I jokingly mentioned to Glenda that "McNew" certainly did not sound like a Jewish name.  She told me that she was, in fact, not only not Jewish, but the daughter of a minister.
Gorgeous verandas on this building
  It was a wonderful experience to visit this wonderful place.

We next stopped for a visit to the majestic and ornate Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  It is breathtaking with magnificent stained glass windows, magnificent statues of the 12 stations of the cross, and an outstanding altar.  I have my doubts as to whether the photographs turned out - it was too dark inside for the camera to focus.

We returned to our accommodations for a short break, then went back to River Road for dinner at Fiddler's Crab House, a seafood restaurant recommended by our host.  It was very good, although the service was only so so and the salad had iceberg lettuce.

Madeline Blank and Glenda McNew hug "Sam and Mira" at Temple Mikve Israel
  Outside was a very large ship docked right in the heart of the main tourist area.  It turned out to be an Army ship called an LSV (landing supply vessel?).  I didn't know the Army had ships!  A short way downstream was a gorgeous private yacht.  It was really very elegant and made for ocean travel, although probably not far off the coast.  It had a hot tub on its upper veranda and satellite domes on its roof, along with the requisite radar.  It was pure white with soft blue lights decorating the outside. 

Back to the bed and breakfast early.  We need to get our junk together for tomorrow's departure to Florida.  We are getting better at that.  Finally!

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James Oglethorpe statue in Chippew…
James Oglethorpe statue in Chippe…
Sam & Mira with Bubbie in Forre…
"Sam & Mira" with Bubbie in "Forr…
Forsyth Park in Savannah
Forsyth Park in Savannah
Another view of beautiful fountain…
Another view of beautiful fountai…
Gorgeous verandas on this building
Gorgeous verandas on this building
Madeline Blank and Glenda McNew hu…
Madeline Blank and Glenda McNew h…
Interior of Mikve Israel Temple
Interior of Mikve Israel Temple
Fountain in Forsyth Park
Fountain in Forsyth Park
Distant view of Mikveh Israel Temp…
Distant view of Mikveh Israel Tem…
Altar in Cathedral of St. John the…
Altar in Cathedral of St. John th…
Pulaski monument in Pulaski Square
Pulaski monument in Pulaski Square
Beautiful Savannah architecture
Beautiful Savannah architecture
Historical marker at Mikveh Israel…
Historical marker at Mikveh Israe…
Stained glass window in Mikve Isra…
Stained glass window in Mikve Isr…
Interior of Temple Mikve Israel
Interior of Temple Mikve Israel
Beautiful stained glass window in …
Beautiful stained glass window in…
Rose Window and organ pipes in Cat…
Rose Window and organ pipes in Ca…
Savannah
photo by: Deb