April 16-26, 2012... Charleston, SC

We're not in Cumberland anymore, Toto. So much to see, do, eat! After our sojourn at an essentially uninhabited island, being here is a real culture shock. But we dove right in, walking the beautiful streets, taking in the architecture, historic sites, the atmosphere and lively neighborhood around the College of Charleston, shopping the big weekend farmers market, and the smells -- especially the honeysuckle in bloom everywhere. Makes us wish we had a scratch 'n sniff blog so that we could preserve and share this aroma that was in formal gardens, snaking up lamp posts, growing like weeds in alleys and on fences.

The Ravenel Bridge connects downtown Charleston to towns east of the Cooper River. It is a beautiful work of art, and we thought the best way to enjoy it would be to walk across. A little research revealed it is 2.5 miles long, and we had walking to do on both ends, so we combined learning the bus system with the walk. Two buses from where we are on the Ashley River got us to Mount Pleasant, where we could walk to the waterfront park and pier and start the walk back west over the bridge. The views of the harbor and the USS Yorktown from above were pretty dramatic, but the views up the cables of the bridge were downright breathtaking. John only took about 200 pictures...

Charleston is known as the Holy City because of all the church steeples visible throughout. And of course we found the temple too. Lots of columns... This is the south.

As a tourist destination, the city works hard to take care of its visitors. For example, there are three free trolley bus lines. And the number of brochures, guides, and maps will keep you from getting lost. Large and small cruise ships stop here disgorging lots of people. But we found that if you get away from the historic downtown, its overpriced mediocre restaurants, and tchotchke shops, you can get a better feel for the city.

People do live here -- it isn't just a Disneyland -- and it is fun to find the places where locals go. We took in a dance theatre performance at the Sottile Theatre, even though we had to bundle up in foulies to get there as a cold front roared through town and a wet dinghy ride was promised. The weather was not conducive to kayaking, as the daytime temperatures dropped to the 50s-60s, the winds were high, and the currents crazy. So, we'll pick that up again when we head back into the marshes. And speaking of the cold, we couldn't believe the nighttime temps fell into the 40s for almost a week! We decided we are moving north way too fast... Gotta slow down...

1 comment:

  1. Charleston is a great city, love it there. You guys are heading north allot quciker then I thought you would. Weather has been crazy this spring. 70s & 80s for a few day, then back down to the 40s & 50s. I'm heading to the beach at Ocean Isle Inlet, NC the first week of June, thought you might be in that area but sounds like you will be further north by then. If so we will see you in the DC/Annapolis area.