North and South Carolina, Charlotte to Charleston.

Trip Start Jan 27, 2010
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Monday, March 8, 2010

We had a good rest in Knoxville, the hotel we stayed at was probably the best so far and it was nice and quiet as well. It was only $50 a night with breakfast. We've tried to only spend $50 a night on accommodation. Most times it has been around that, a few places we couldn't get cheap accommodation but made up for it in places like Las Vegas and Orlando, they were only $35 a night. We started driving to Asheville at 8 am, and had to detour nearly 60 miles out of our way because of a big rockfall on the interstate to Asheville. We drove through some scenic areas. We saw a bit of the Smokey mountains before we had to detour and on the other road we went through some hilly country cattle farming country. We went over the North Carolina state line and climbed a bit in elevation and started to see small patches of snow where the sun didn't reach. The interstate roads are really good. The speed limit is 70 miles an hour but no one seems to stick to it, we were doing 70 and we had huge trucks passing us! Using your car's blinkers seems to be pretty uncommon too!

We stopped in Asheville and had a walk around the lovely historical downtown, nothing was open because it was Sunday and most shops didn't open until 1 pm so we just had a walk around and kept going. We drove 20 miles to Chimney Rock, which is a 315 ft granite monolith. An elevator took us up through the cliff to to the top. There is a lot of hiking trails but they were closed because on Tuesday they had 7 inches of snow and some ice still remained so the trails were still closed. It was beautiful up on the rock, we got a great view of the surrounding area. The day was nice and sunny.

We left there and drove onto Charlotte. Charlotte has around 700 thousand residents. There wasn't really anything that interested us in Charlotte but we decided to stay there for the night and then drive onto Charleston the next morning.

Today we got up early at 6 am and left for Charleston. Our guide book said Charleston is one of the South's most beautiful cities so we wanted to get there early. It was a 200 mile drive. I drove the first 160 miles, the highway wasn't too busy and Alan even fell asleep again! The day was really sunny and got to a top of 21 degrees. We got to Charleston at 9.30 am and drove to the visitor center in the historic downtown. We booked a tour and that left at 10 am from the visitor center. We drove around the historic downtown, the guide was full of information about the history of the houses and areas of the downtown, and we loved his Southern accent! There was a lot of beautifully preserved homes, churches, cobbled streets and huge old oak trees lining the streets. Charleston is definitely my favorite place so far. A very nice place to walk around. Included in our tour was a visit to Palmer House, a beautiful old home full of antiques right on the water front.

Our tour dropped us at the market and we had a look around and walked around the streets, there was amazing homes everywhere we walked. There were some trees starting to blossom and it smelt nice walking around. The town has a really laid back feeling. No one seemed to be in a hurry. We went back to the waterfront and saw some dolphins swimming just out from the ocean wall, they were beautiful.

We then drove out to Magnolia plantation, 10 miles from the downtown. Magnolia plantation has been in the same family since 1676. The plantation house has been built 3 times. The first time it was destroyed by a fire, the second time it was destroyed in the civil war and the house that stands today was originally party moved there in 1875 and then more added on later. The house was full of antiques, it was very nice but we weren't allowed to take any photo's inside. The plantation used to grow rice because the crop was worth a lot more than cotton and here in Charleston it was ideal conditions to grow rice. There is a beautiful garden at Magnolia too, but we ran out of time to see it. The tickets we purchased allows us to come back again so we are going to go back and see the garden in the morning. There was also a small zoo and I fed the cute deers that were wandering around

We also paid extra to see to Audubon swamp. We walked along a boardwalk and saw some turtles, an alligator and quite a few different birds. It was a lovely walk.

Our hotel was a short drive from the downtown. Tomorrow we are driving to Savannah which isn't far. Savannah sound like a really nice place to visit as well. Then we are staying in Atlanta for the next 2 nights and then heading for Alabama.

Bye for now Dianne and Alan
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Michael on

Hello Dorkeys you look like you are having fun.Alan is eating his way across america.

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