Page 8 of our daily Tour Journal   

23nd May 2004
St John the Baptist Cathedral is only about 400 metres away from our Savannah apartment so we attended the 8 am service. We have never cared for cathedral churches as a place to worship as they always have a remote and pompous kind of ambience to them. This also proved to be the case in Savannah.

The interior of the cathedral itself however was one of the most attractive we have ever encountered anywhere in the world. It was beautifully maintained, had excellent stained glass, a light airy ambience and heaps of live vines and greenery growing around altar and sanctuary.

During dinner with our friends last night we had mentioned our disappointing experiences with American "Barbeque" which we'd tried in several cafes over the last few weeks. We'd found the smoked pork to be too stringy and so immersed in barbeque sauce as to totally obliterate the flavour of meat or anything else. Our friends then suggested we join them for lunch at the Sweet Leaf Smokery restaurant which is "only about five blocks from your apartment". The problem was that they gave us the wrong street name.

We walked and walked until we became uneasy, then Brian accosted a black guy sitting on a step. He informed us that he'd lived in the district 40 years and there was no barbeque restaurant anywhere nearby. He also warned us against proceeding any further south because "it be dangerous for you folks", then he asked Brian "would you have any money for a soda"?

Brian unwisely checked his wallet and found nothing below a $50 note. He turned around to ask Lynn for help, only to find her madly back-pedalling up the street! Dropping a handful of silver and copper shrapnel into the gentleman's hand we quickly crossed to a nearby Drug Store, sought assistance from the helpful cashier and was offered a lift by another kind customer who learned of our plight. In due course we arrived 30 minutes late at the Sweet Leaf Smokery and found our friends still waiting for a free table.

Alex, Valerie, Becky, Mike and Kimberly wait for
us outside The Sweet Leaf Smokery in Savannah,
hugely amused about giving us a wrong address

Lynn and I shared a "Mixed Barbeque Sampler Plate" which introduced us to a drier, hotter and less saucy form of barbeque. This came accompanied by Collard Greens, Granny Smith Cole Slaw and hickory smoked Barbequed Baked Beans. We'll continue our culinary studies and will hopefully be experts in this form of Southern cooking by the time we arrive back in Australia. Stand by for an invitation. You'll be expected to bring the Collard Greens and we'll supply everything else (better start your own research now)!

We spent the afternoon strolling the lovely tree lined streets of the Historic District of Savannah Georgia. Huge old oak trees and equally remarkable magnolia trees create so called "canopy roads" as they stretch to meet each other across the streets. This creates most welcome shade in the hot and humid climate.

There are 24 small park-like squares in "old Savannah", all equally cool and green. They make a lovely refuge to rest on a park bench and listen to the bird songs. Thanks to all the parks, trees and other vegetation in the Historic Section of Savannah, bird life is quite prolific.

We watched a lady feeding some squirrels in a park but they were seriously out-manoeuvred by the pigeons which soon arrived on the scene and elbowed the squirrels aside. A pigeon probably weighs three times as much as a typical squirrel so they are at a definite disadvantage.

 Most homes in this district were built just before or just after the American Civil War and are generally dated between 1850 and 1870.

Whilst there are many grand homes we also discovered many which are more modest but equally attractive, cute or engaging. The Historical quarter of Savannah is well worth a visit if you ever happen to be passing visiting the city




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