After rescheduling twice, Saturday afternoon at 3:30 finally worked out for a Carriage Ride of Charleston. We went directly from Belmond Charleston Place Hotel to the carriage barn.
~ Each carriage holds 16 passengers, and the tour is approximately one hour long. ~
The city has divided Charleston into five zones which Palmetto Carriage drivers have to strictly adhere to. The zone a driver will get is determined by a lottery system [chance] at a location a short distance from the barn. No specific zone can be requested, and deviating from a zone will cost the driver a steep fine. Our driver got zone #5 which was a fabulous carriage ride.
I wish I would have had a map of our zone and a tape recording of our driver's comments to help identify my pictures. He was an excellent guide, but I couldn't take notes and pictures at the same time, so I took pictures and later had difficulty remembering what the places were that I photographed. Thank heavens for the Internet and tourist books!
Charleston is a beautiful city, filled with so much history. It's the oldest city in South Carolina, and all of it can't possibly be seen in one visit. Guess that means I have to plan a return visit!
We saw a South Carolina state flag dangling from the rooftop of a building at the beginning of our ride. The crescent symbol represents the silver emblem worn on the caps of the South Carolina troops during the Revolutionary War, and the background color matches the blue of their uniforms. The Saba Palmetto is the state tree. South Carolina's nickname is the Palmetto State.
~ Narrow Streets ~
~ Cobblestone and brick streets ~
~ Charleston City Hall on Broad Street ~
~ United States Custom House on East Bay St. in the French Quarter ~
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon on East Bay Street [Note this photo was taken from our van and not on the carriage ride, but I wanted to include it with Charleston buildings.]
First Scots Presbyterian Church is the fifth oldest congregation in Charleston founded in 1731. Located on corner of Meeting Street and Tradd.
~ Calhoun Mansion on Meeting Street ~
Two Meeting Street Inn overlooks White Point Gardens. On my next visit to Charleston there will be an overnight stay at this Inn. They serve Afternoon Tea to their guests.
~ White Point Gardens near the Charleston Harbor ~
~ East Battery ~
'Rainbow Row' is the name for a series of 13 colorful historic houses on East Bay Street. They represent the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States. The name was coined after the pastel colors they were painted as they were restored in the 1930's and 40's. They are one of the most photographed sights in Charleston.
St. Philips Orthodox Anglican Church on Church Street in the French Quarter. It's the state's oldest congregation founded in 1681. I wish there would have been time to go inside or attend a service.
Charleston is dubbed the Holy City because it has over 400 places of worship. The pink church is the French Protestant Huguenot Church, also located on Church Street. It was built in 1687. Our carriage driver said Charleston is the second largest city for weddings in the United States.
When our carriage ride ended, it was soon time for our 7:00 p.m. dinner reservations at East Bay Meeting House in the French Quarter. Our initial reservations were Afternoon Tea for everyone, which they serve until 7:00 p.m., but after our early morning Royal Wedding Tea, and Afternoon Tea at Charleston Place Hotel, we changed our minds and decided to order off the dinner menu instead, all except Teresa who loves her Afternoon Tea experiences.
I ordered Chicken Francese - Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta with Butter, Lemon and Parsley. It was good, but we were all curiously oohing and ahhing when they brought out Teresa's Afternoon Tea. Since she was the only one who ordered it, they didn't use a tiered server, but beautifully arranged all the courses on one rectangular plate. The desserts at one end, the savories at the other, and scone, jam and clotted cream in the center.
Then we returned to our hotel for our last night in Charleston. We loaded the van at 7:30 the next morning for an 8:00 a.m. departure for Savannah, Georgia. Next post...