Still in Charleston

Wednesday 7th December 2011

 

With a weather window not available until at least tomorrow, we spent the next couple of days exploring Charleston.  We walked the mile and a half or so into downtown Charleston, watched the introductory video in the visitors’ centre and then set off to see the sights.  It is an interesting town with some very grand houses, mostly built in a very similar style which allowed both privacy and an open balcony area in which to cool off during the hot days of summer.

 

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One of the houses along the waterfront.                                                                              Wrought ironwork is a common feature.

 

We were amused by this attempt to keep pedestrians safe as they cross a major road – dayglo orange flags are provided to be waved as you cross!  We wondered how effective this might be – as well as what you should do if all the flags are on the opposite side of the road!

 

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Steve making sure he was doubly safe to cross the road!

 

The Christmas parade started after lunch and we stopped to watch it for a while.  It wasn’t quite as impressive as the boat parade, but the locals were out in force and had made themselves comfortable along the roadside with chairs and picnics.

 

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One of the floats in the Christmas Parade                                                                             and a reminder of its history.

 

We stopped for lunch at the Blind Tiger pub and it was warm and sunny enough to enjoy it in their walled garden.  It was just like being at home!

 

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Checking out the menu at the Blind Tiger pub.

 

We visited the Charleston Museum with its interesting collection of items and learnt more of Charleston’s history and how it gained the wealth to build such beautiful and big houses.   It was interesting to read of its need to defend itself from attack by both land and sea at numerous occasions during its history.  The museum has a life-size replica of a prototype submarine which was totally man-powered, and managed to launch a torpedo which sank an enemy ship in Charleston harbour, saving the town.  Unfortunately the submarine never returned, and it was raised many years later with its brave crew still on board.

 

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The Market                                                                                                                                         Making sweet grass baskets in the market.

 

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Some cobbled streets remain in Charleston, the cobbles being stones that had been used as ships’ ballast.

 

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I love this statue at a water fountain in The Battery – for you M-J x                          And this is for a certain young man who shall be nameless (!) x

 

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Shops in the fashionable King Street district.                                                                       A replica of the first submarine which sank a ship in Charleston harbour.

 

We walked our legs off and enjoyed every minute.  We cheated a bit though once we worked out the free trolley bus service and jumped on that whenever we could to give our legs a break!

 

A weather window seems to be opening for tomorrow, to head down towards Florida.  Where we will stop will depend on the weather as usual, and the sea conditions in the inlets.  We will either be in Fernandina Beach, Port Canaveral or Fort Pierce.  Watch this space.