We LOVE Charleston!!! The stunning double expansion bridge pictured above is the longest of its kind in the US. We crossed just as the sun was setting and were surprised to find it’s free! After so many toll roads in Florida, this now seems like an anomaly 😕. The bridge crosses Charleston bay right by downtown where we spent the day exploring the stunning architecture (I believe I heard they have over 500 churches), food, shopping (don’t miss the outdoor market), and horse drawn carriage rides. Also, amazing vintage and antique shopping abounds and somehow we are going to have to find more space because we couldn’t resist picking up a few treasures.
There is so much Revolutionary War (our emancipation from the British) and Civil War history here. I swear I am not a history buff, but when you are here you cannot help but be absorbed into the stories of the early years of our nation. I find this to be especially true now that the election is over and there seems to be so much political unrest. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. We took a ferry to visit Fort Sumpter, strategically located at the mouth of Charleston bay, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The weather has cooled down a bit, so be sure to bundle up for the boat ride.
Above are pics of the first submarine created and used in warfare during the Civil War. It was used by the South to sink a Union battleship. The South was desperate to get supply ships through the Union blockade of Charleston harbor and were actually able to sink a warship by jamming a torpedo into the side of the ship using this submarine. Keep in mind the technology was so basic that they had no air supply without surfacing every 2 hours and the whole thing was powered by men turning a large crank that would spin the outside propellor. The sub was mysteriously lost after it successfully targeted a Union ship and was not found again for almost 130 years. There are a lot of fascinating stories about how the Hunley was developed, tested, lost, and finally found at www.hunley.org.
Okay, now for he food – OMG – they seriously know how to cook in the South!!! I am not a fan of the southern classics such as grits, fried okra, collard greens, etc., but they got me to try and like – no love – whatever it is they did to a brussel sprout that made it this charred wonderful decadent treat!! Also, the best friggen’ fried chicken I have ever eaten in my life! Fresh biscuits with local honey, jams, and benigets that are better than Cafe du Monde. I am going into a food coma now – catch up with you later…