There’s an early start to the day, and ten there’s a 3am wake up call. Despite running several flights a day from New Orleans to Atalanta, Delta airlines decided to move me to one two hours earlier than the one I’d booked. No reason was given, and with one hour wait on the customer services line, I figured out that at least it’d give me a couple of extra hours in Savannah.
But Good Friday wasn’t going to let my lapsed Catholic self off that lightly. The pilot apologised for a “missed approach” just a couple of hundred yards from the runway as we came into land. When a plane suddenly banks steeply upwards, the passengers go very quiet. On the ground, thunderstorms – but a happy welcome from Jasmin the Uber diver. She’s been working for them for about six months, “which gives me plenty of time to do my other job as a Cosmologist”. There’s not much you can say to that.
All of which makes me thankful to arrive at the Macmillan Inn, a beautiful period house in the historic district of Savannah. The owners, Melissa and Eric, run an upmarket B and B. The Drayton Room, as I’m assigned, has a bed which is taller than me, and requires steps. The bathroom has a jacuzzi. It’s a good way to unwind after a humid journey.
Downtown Savannah is packed with even more history. A series of squares line Bull Street – running from the picturesque Forsyth Park to the riverfront. You can sit on “Forest Gump’s” bench with a box of chocolates. Retro buses run abound town and rush hour runs at a sedentary pace.
This is tourist central – and the waterfront area is packed with visitors soaking up the huge range of drink and food, browsing quirky stores selling sheets and peanuts and basically paying the bills for the business owners. In a bar called Spanky’s (they all seem to have comedy names here – Wet Willy’s is another favourite), the bartender Shannon teases a group of four tourists. Kenny, Jo, Steve and Sue have been drinking for most of the afternoon and have no intention stopping. We move on to a Duelling Pianos show – which seems to be a fixture in many US cities. It’s cheesy, cheap and fun.