Jekyll turns into Hyde

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
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Trip End Jun 26, 2012


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Where I stayed
Fairfield Inn & Suites Jacksonville Beach
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, April 16, 2012

We drive into downtown Savannah. The sultry gem of the Old South. It is a walking city beloved for its enchanted squares and moss-draped trees and stunning arrays of architectural styles. The one-mile square historic district is a world unto itself. We stroll along brick and cobblestone sidewalks which wind past historic houses with secret gardens hidden behind ornate cast-iron fences.
The Congregation Mickvel Israel is the 3rd oldest Jewish congregation in America. It was just 5 months after James Edward Oglethorpe founded Savannah (in 1733) that 41 Jews arrived by ship from London. 279 years later, the Congregation is still active.

From Savannah downtown we drive about 14 miles to Cockspur Island which sits in the middle of the Savannah River directly in front of where the River deposits its waters into the Atlantic Ocean. Situated here is Fort Pulaski, built in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century to guard the river approaches to Savannah. It’s history is very interesting but in short, the Confederates seized the Fort prior to it being garrisoned by the Union and despite it being of an ‘invincible design’, new war technology of the day allowed the Union to re-take the Fort in just 2 days in February of 1862 with 2 days of heavy bombardment using experimental rifled cannons. Evidence of the fierce battle still remains today and the Fort serves not only as a memorial to the valour and dedication of those connected with its construction, bombardment and defence, but also as a history lesson on the elusiveness of invincibility.

We backtrack into Savannah before continuing our journey south toward Florida. Our next stop is St. Simons Island - the largest of the Golden Isles along Georgia's southern Atlantic coast. Eighteen square miles in size, it is accessible by car via the F.J. Torras Causeway. Its history is rich with skirmishes between the French, Spanish and English all vying for settlements along the southeast coast. We stop just near the lighthouse museum and stretch our legs walking around this very pretty spot before heading off again towards Jekyll Island.


The massive bridge structure that affords access onto the island is worthy of a stop for a photo. We pull into a small parking area beside the bridge on the entry side and walk to a vantage point for the photo. A few locals are fishing at the edge of the watercourse and we meet a very "southern" lady and her 2 children. The kids are so cute and are amazed we have come all the way from Australia. Crossing the bridge we pass an entry gate (and part with $5) that allows further access to the island attractions. Whilst there is a historic district, it really is nothing like we have previously seen and the rest of the island is a nature reserve. We come to a few shops that are literally shipping containers with holes cut out for doors and windows. I am sure many naturalists appreciate this island but for us, we are happy to have made a donation to the conservation society (or the interest bill on the loan taken to build the bridge) or whatever the $5 was for and to keep moving south.

Our last stop for the day before Jacksonville Beach was to be St Marys. Whilst the local tourist flyers sung the praises for this little village, a quick check of my online Frommer's Guide had it as a haven for backpackers, so we stayed on Interstate 95 all the way to Florida and diverted off only to reach our accommodation for the night.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Sybil Goldberg on

Happy Birthday Phillip, I am enjoying your trip, love Sybil

Leonie on

Beautiful photos!!
And Happy Birthday Phil!!
Hope Gail spoils you!!

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