Going down south for Christmas 2.0

As we said goodbye to Charleston (you can read everything about it here), we hit the road, to go to Savannah. I didn’t know much about the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia, but there was a very important detail, I knew of and cared about: the “park bench” scene, that opens the movie “Forrest Gump” (best movie ever!!!) was filmed on the north side of Chippewa Square and I had to go there! But before we did that the next day, we checked in at our hotel, which wasn’t that far from the center of the city and really cheap! The first thing, we thought, as soon, as we got there, was: There is like nobody here! I guess, this has been the reason, why the staff there has been so super nice, because they were happy about every single person, that came to their hotel. I have to admit, that I felt a little bit like Jack Nicholson in the movie “The Shining”, because there really was NOBODY!!! It’s creepy and cool at the same time, knowing, that we might have been the only ones at this hotel. But as we figured the very next morning, we weren’t. There have been maybe 5 others with us.

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Today was the day: I am gonna be at the same place, Tom Hanks was sitting 20 years ago! I was super excited! On our way into the city of Savannah, looking for a free parking spot, which is always a pain in the ass and almost impossible in the U.S., we actually ended up in a parking garage. As soon, as we started walking towards downtown, the rain was coming down in torrents. And we didn’t have an umbrella. Great! We were standing underneath a roof for a while, to see, if it would stop pouring at some point. It didn’t. So I took my purse, trying to protect myself from getting all soaked. At some point it stopped pouring and it was just drizzling, but reason enough buying an umbrella at the very next CVS, we could find! Lesson learned. After we had some lunch, it was time searching traces! For some reason, we got lost several times on our way to Chippewa Square, but we found it. I was confused. “Where is it?”, is what I was thinking out loud. I kept running in circles around the square, looking for the right spot. There was no bench anymore. They were using a fiberglass prop, which they put on a display at the Savannah Visitor Center afterwards. I was dying to go there and see it, but unfortunately, we didn’t have time for it. By the time, I looked up a picture on Google comparing the surrounding houses in the picture with the houses of my actual view, I started squeaking a little inside! “Here it is!!! I finally found the right spot! God, I am such an idiot!”, is what I was shouting with laughter to my friend, who was seeking shelter underneath a church, because it was raining. Again! I ran into the streets, not caring about any cars or buses, that could have run over me, taking pictures of this magical place and just being happy. “I don’t understand, how you can be this excited.”, my friend said to me, probably bored and thinking, that I am an idiot indeed, for taking so long, but being very patient! Being at the actual spot, where they filmed this famous scene, was more I could have dreamed of and never would have expected to see one day, so I am more than thankful for this moment!

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After this exciting experience, my friend wanted to go see Savannah’s City Hall. On our way there, we went through a lot of Savannah’s famous squares. There are 24 (some sources of information say 22, some say 24) and most of them are named in hornor or memory of a person, or historical event and most of them contain monuments, statues, water fountains and etc. It was really nice walking through all these little squares, that actually looked like tiny little parks and I never had the feeling, of them all looking the same. Each one of them had its own character and charm. The city hall of Savannah was decorated all Christmassy, with a Christmas tree and Christmas flowers, which I loved! We sat down for a while, resting and enjoying the Christmas spirit inside the city hall, before we continued our tour through the streets of Savannah. We went down some alleyway, that lead us to the port by the Savannah river, where we saw a huge container ship ( I know, these ships are huge, but I’ve never seen one this close before) leaving the port. The River Street right by the Port of Savannah, reminded me a little bit of the Warehouse District in Hamburg and this is where I spotted “River Street Sweets” (klick here, to get to their homepage), Savannah’s world famous pralines! Right next to the entrance, we were able to see, how they were making all kinds of candy, such as salt water taffy, toffee apples and chocolates. I loved how their shop, where you can buy all of these goodies and the cashiers were dressed as elves, was blending with the actual factory. I wanted to buy all of it, because everything just looked and smelled so delicious, that it was hard making a decision. In the end, I bought two pieces of chocolate, which were amzingly creamy and everything else but gross, because usually, I don’t like American chocolate (sorry guys, but your chocolate just sucks!). The taste of it, always reminds me of chocolate coating, which doesn’t taste good at all! But this time, it was different! Thanks to “River Street Sweets”!

 

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After discovering one of Savannah’s hot spots by coincidence (We are just so good at this!), we kept walking through the squares and streets, enjoying the lights and houses in Savannah’s historic distirict. Savannah also has a high number of churches. The oldest standing church is the First Baptiste Church, which was built in 1833 and is located on Chippewa Square (I guess, that was the one, where my friend was seeking shelter, when it was raining). Another historic one, we passed by and actually wanted to enter, but it just has closed its gates, is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. I loved the almighty look of the church in the dawn. For only having a few hours of exploring Savannah, we’ve seen a lot and only because, we did everything by foot again. It is a quiet and lovely city, which is definitely worth visiting, especially for Forrest Gump fans!!! It was a bummer, that it was raining almost the entire time, but it didn’t do any harm to our visit! It has been another city, we never would have payed attention to and maybe never would have visited, if I wouldn’t have found out, that parts of my all time favourite movie was filmed here. Even better in the end it was to get to know this southern pearl and oldest city of Georgia, as we already had to say goodbye, to set out for our next destination: Florida!

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