A day in Savannah

Again, we took advantage of the fact that we didn’t have to get up and out “early”, so we slept long into the day. After spending an hour or two of celebrating that we finally were online again, Selma woke Louis up (actually, he woke up a bit confused as Selma was having a chat with her GF on Skype, wondering who the hell she was talking to).

As we got out, we almost turned and ran back to our air conditioned room, as the heat and humidity was extreme. But we’d decided to take Julie’s advice and go on a tour with the Oglethorpe Trolley Tours - to get a full view of this beautiful town. And it was worth the ten bucks. The driver took us around in an open bus, telling the stories of churches (there’s a bunch of them), squares (many of these as well, each of them very beautiful), houses (so many gorgeous buildings!) - and the people who used to occupy them. And in some cases - supposedly still do! Savannah is said to be the most haunted town in the US, as most of it is built on old burial grounds.

The Oglethorpe Trolley Tours
The Oglethorpe Trolley Tours

Some of our highlights on the tour were the movie related locations. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was written based on a story taking place in Savannah, and the film featured shots from several locations in town. The Mercer house, where the murder took place, was on our route - and it’s a beautiful mansion worth taking a look at even without knowledge of the book/film. And - the famous scene from Forest Gump, where Forrest is sitting on a bench stating that life is like a box of chocolates, was shot in one of the squares of Savannah. Alas, the bench is now gone, and replaced by something as exciting as a one way sign!

The Mercer House
The Mercer House

After the tour we went back to the hotel to empty our filled up memory cards, and Selma did some more swearing over the storage problems. But we didn’t have time to deal with it - there was still more of Savannah to explore. Julie had recommended an evening ghost tour with a group driving around in an old, remade hearse (norsk: likbil), so we tried calling them to make a reservation for the night. Unfortunately, we only got an answering machine - but made a plea that they call the hotel and leave a message for us if they had any available seats for the night.

Then we headed back out into the afternoon heat, and our fist mission was to see if Julie was at work, and if so - thank her for helping us last night. She wasn’t in, but we were told she would be there all day the next day. Then we wanted to get some food, but we’d read that the best places were located a bit up from the riverfront. So we started walking up and down the streets, looking for a tempting menu. The area seemed to be full of sushi bars and italian restaurants, but we were really in the mood for a more southern taste. So after walking around for a while, we ended up at a restaurant called Belford’s at the City Market, just a block from our hotel.

Selma and Louis at Belford's
Selma and Louis at Belford’s

At the restaurant, we were greeted by Travis - a charming and cheerful guy from Maui, Hawaii - resettled in Savannah with his girlfriend (a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design - a huge institution in Savannah). When we said we were from Norway, he told us he was a descendant of Norwegians that came to Hawaii on the only Scandinavian boat to arrive there with settlers (but neither he or we could understand which way they had gone to arrive there). He also wanted to go to Lysefjordsbotn in Norway to base jump - and we were amazed to find someone who had even heard of the place! He tried to call his brother to find out where in Norway his ancestors originated from, and after a while he came back out with a grin and said “Røros!”. He was a really great guy, and after we’d finished eating (great food, by the way!), we got his cell number - in case we wanted to hook up with him and his friends later that night.

We had to get back to the hotel to see whether we’d received a message from the Hearse tour people, so we strolled the few yards “home”. No message there, so we tried to call Travis instead. We only got his Voice Mail, so we figured we just take a walk and see if we could find him at some of the bars he’d pointed out to us earlier. The bars were almost empty (it was, after all, a Wednesday), and we didn’t see Travis - so we headed back to the Warehouse at the waterfront. On our way there, we ran into the guy we’d talked to there the night before - and he greeted us from afar, remembering we were traveling Norwegians. This goes to show both that Savannah is a rather small town, and that the southern hospitality is real indeed!

Louis in a Savannah Square at night
Louis in a Savannah Square at night

As we wouldn’t be able to sleep late the next day, we went back to our hotel rather early, and settled for the night. There was a lot of work to be done on the computer, so Selma stayed up rather late…

There's been one response to “A day in Savannah”

JX wrote:

The Norwegian immigration to Hawaii is indeed an interesting story. I remember hearing about it a couple of years back. The norwegians were recruited by a norwegian plantation owner, and went by two ships from Drammen to Hawaii in 1880. Upon arrival the norwegians experienced meager conditions and very hard work, and complained back home that they were slaves (or treated like slaves). The norwegian parliament even discussed sending war ships. But when a norwegian diplomatic committe arrived there, they concluded that their work was within the scope of the contracts they had signed.

(No, I didn’t remember all this — this is the short version of something I found here: )

May 8th, 2007 at 20:19 (permalink)

Got tips? Comments? Do tell!