Friday, March 11, 2022

[SAVANNAH] A Georgia with Some History


Blame climate change, perhaps, but it is here in Savannah where the cold blast in March had its climax for me. Jesus Christ, 1 degree Celsius and windchill that penetrated the depths of my soul. What the hell, ‘MERICA? It’s freaking March! And so, that is perhaps one of the reasons why my trip outside has been abrupt. I just couldn’t handle the migraine. It didn’t help that it was drizzling for a while too. Wet and cold, bad combination. Anyway, Savannah! What is there to see? Well, welcome to historic Georgia, y’all.


Savannah is considered as the state’s first city. I’m not really the type to be that interested in the contemporary history of the United States, so to be totally honest, I only decided to drop by to split my travel time en route to Florida. Opting for buses this time around instead of flying, I had to sit on a four-hour bus ride from Atlanta to get here, and then a shorter two-hour trip to get to Jacksonville in neighboring Northern Florida. Had I known that South Carolina is literally just across the river from Savannah, I would have crossed that border too, just to cross out another US state on my map.


But there’s another time for that. What was waiting for me in Savannah was what’s supposed to be a pleasant stroll in its many squares and parks. Oh, yes. It seems as though there is a square after every block or two with a monument dedicated to some historical figure serving as the centerpiece. In the end, I figured that should I ever find myself relocating to Georgia, Atlanta would definitely be home, while Savannah would be the de facto weekend trip every time I need a history refresher.


The city has its own network of buses and reloadable transport card called CAT. Much of the tourist attractions are lumped together block after block as you head north towards the river which serves as Georgia’s border with South Carolina. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from near the water, and most of the folks, both local and tourists, mostly converge in that area. If you want less people, just start walking south and you will see the crowds thin out.


Parks and squares aside, what I really loved about Savannah were the houses! There was really nothing distinctive about them. In fact, most of them are your typical wooden houses prevalent in the South. After seeing a similar motif in Paramaribo’s inner-city center, I kept on thinking where I’ve already seen a similar architectural style. Well, this is the answer. I’ve seen them in ‘Merica! While you will see some houses and buildings made of brick, the predominant style is that of wood panels on top of the other, painted with different choices of solid colors far from the pastel cotton candy goodness of their Caribbean counterparts.


In the end, I feel like I could have learned more about the place, but this learning experience thingy always depends on my mood. I guess the cold weather just robbed me of all curiosity for self-education. I just wanted to immediately get back to my Airbnb and bury myself in thick blankets. Oh well. In any case, outside the historic downtown area, as you approach the suburbs, the orientation slowly reverts to your typical ‘Merican medium-sized town, grid layout and residential house and lots devoid of picket fences and all.


If you decide to bus out of Savannah and are trying to find a suitable destination as your next stop also via land travel, then I suggest either heading south to Florida via Jacksonville or north towards South Carolina.

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