Georgia has been on my mind since 1996, when I read the autobiography of an author who spent the final days of his life in Savannah. So great was his love for Savannah, and so wonderful his description of this city by the sea, that I promised myself a visit to Savannah in my lifetime. It took only 16 years.
I was not disappointed. If anything, I kicked myself for not scheduling more time for this city. I was there for only an hour, which is hardly sufficient time to see a place. When I walked into the Visitor’s Center to pick up a map and ask about the must-sees, the woman I spoke to was nonplussed when I said I only had an hour to sightsee. She almost didn’t know what to recommend for such a short visit. Nevertheless, she armed me with a map and a walking route most suitable to the time I had available.
My first stop was the Georgia State Railroad Museum, which I had glimpsed on my way into the city. If you’ve read Gone With the Wind or Scarlett, you’d probably want to see this train station. It’s the oldest surviving antebellum railroad station in the US. From there, I walked to City Market, a collection of stores in what was, undoubtedly, the market of olden days. The historic buildings are charming, and the cobblestone walks are delightful.
I made my way past the square, downhill to the Port of Savannah, which lies on the Savannah River. Words cannot sufficiently describe the old world charm experienced here. Joining cars on the road, horse-drawn carriages rambled past, conveying tourists around the city. It was such a happy sight, underscoring the side-by-side existence of the historical and the modern that makes Savannah what it is today. The city is still on my bucket list. I will have to return for a proper visit.