Friday, June 13, 2014

Charleston Day 2

We started Day 2 in Charleston off with a ride on the DASH (the free downtown trolley system). It was a great way to get acclimated to the downtown area and decide where we wanted to start our day. We chose Fort Sumter because there are only three times a day when a boat goes out there and we figured it would only get more crowded as the day went on. We spent half a day exploring the fort and riding the water taxi. I love a water taxi! 

We took a water taxi to Patriots Point. And then the National Park Service boat to the fort. 

The view looking back towards Charleston. 
Can you imagine going out to watch the first shots of the War Between the States?

I forgot earrings and so I "had" to buy some china berry earrings from a lady selling Gullah Geechee baskets and other small items outside the visitors center. The Gullah Geechee culture is a blend of cultures from West Africa, the British West Indies and South Carolina. The Gullah people have their own language and can trace their roots to the villages of the Sierra Leone territory in West Africa. If you are a Pat Conroy fan, he mentions something about their culture in most of his books.

Fort Sumter was really something to see. It reminded us a lot of Fort Morgan in Alabama but was more intact. The park service tour was very informative on the boat and then once you got to the fort you had an hour to explore before the boat left again. 

We caught the water taxi back to Charleston and ate a late lunch/early dinner at the Magnolias. This was recommended by several Facebook friends and it did not disappoint. For a starter we had the Down South Egg Roll with collard greens, chicken, tasso ham, red pepper puree, spicy mustard and peach chutney. We also tried the Shellfish Over Grits with sauteed shrimp, sea scallops, lobster over creamy white grits with lobster butter sauce and fried spinach. I was too busy inhaling it to take a picture! 

We decided it was too hot to do a carriage ride and are saving this for our next trip! This was outside the City Market which was interesting to walk through. 

The Dock Street Theater is one of the oldest operating playhouses in the country and the original theater was built in 1735. Above the stage is a carved wood bas-relief of the Royal Coat of Arms in England.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church is on the corner of Meeting and Broad and a plaque on the church said "On this spot Christian Worship has been offered according to the Book of Common Prayer since the year 1680. This building, the oldest church ediface in Charleston, was begun in 1752 on the site of the first parish church in the city. It continues to be a house of prayer for all people, a witness to the Glory of God..."

Catfish Row or Cabbage Row at 38 Tradd Street where Porgy of DuBose Heyward's book lived. For the folk opera Porgy and Bess "Cabbage Row" was changed to "Catfish Row." I haven't read the book or seen the opera but both are now on my to-read and to-see lists!

Rainbow Row - the largest cluster of intact Georgian row houses in the US. They are on East Bay Street between Tradd and Elliott and were built by 1690. They name "Rainbow Row" came in the 1930s and '40s when they were renovated and painted pastel colors. 

Ended Day 2 with another walk along the river. I don't think it's possible to get tired of looking at a body of water at sunset! 

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