BY JANET STEINBERG
THREE OF A SERIES
morning….and especially on a morning when you are arriving into Charleston’s
bustling harbor on the fourth day of a glorious Silversea cruise. Our
cruise, on Silversea’s Silver Shadow, had just sailed us 80 nautical miles
along the Atlantic Coast of the South’s fabled Low Country…from Savannah,
Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina.
|SILVER SHADOW DOCKED IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA|
the tip of a peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, is known
for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, a celebrated restaurant
community and mannerly people. Local lore has it that the two rivers meet in
Charleston Harbor to form the Atlantic Ocean. Quintessential
exaggeration, but fun!
history, Charleston (locals drop the “r” and pronounce it Chows-ton) may well
be America’s most beautifully preserved architectural and historical
to the Visitors Center where I would board a tour bus for the 90-minute
Absolutely Charleston Tour of the city. (You can ride the free DASH Trolley to
the Visitor’s Center.)
|START YOUR TOUR AT THE
CHARLESTON VISITOR CENTER
“Native Americans came to Charleston first, and the Spanish passed through on
occasion. However, starting in 1670, it was the English who made the most
impact on area. Charles Towne, as it was known then, was first situated a few
miles up the Ashley River, but the lure of the peninsula was too great, and the
inhabitants relocated after about ten years.
economies in the New World, the citizenry laid out a series of broad, elegant
boulevards according to a British model plan and fashioned a city that came be
known as Little London. They looked back across the Atlantic to Mother England
for correct taste and style in clothing, furnishings, and the arts. They
became a leader in the Colonies, establishing the oldest landscaped gardens in
North America…the first public library… the first municipal college… the first
theatre… and the continent’s first museum.”
|REPLICA OF H.L. HUNLEY
SUBMARINE OUTSIDE CHARLESTON MUSEUM
paved with cobblestone streets and framed by beautifully preserved antebellum
mansions, include the following:
THE CITADEL, THE MILITARY
COLLEGE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, is commonly referred to simply as The Citadel. For the fourth consecutive year, The Citadel has been
recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the top
public college in the south for institutions granting up to a master’s degree.
The internationally renowned South Carolina Corps of Cadets is the
traditional centerpiece of the college.
Their program combines academics, physical challenges and military discipline,
and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets is one of the largest uniformed student
bodies in the United States.
CADETS IN FRONT OF
mascot. Many bulldogs have served as Citadel mascots over the
years. The main duty of the bulldog is to provide morale for the Corps of
Cadets, faculty and staff and all of the Bulldog athletic teams. Other duties
include barking at opposing teams, eating numerous dog biscuits throughout the
day and being pampered by the cadets help take care of them while school
is in session.
|THE BULLDOG MASCOT SCULPTURE
FROM THE CLASS OF 1968
Corps of Cadets and South Carolina. Perhaps
the most popular feature of the ring is the Star of the West, which
commemorates the firing on a Union supply steamer by a detachment of Citadel
cadets in January 1861. This action was the powder keg that set off the War
Between the States. Every aspect of
the ring is symbolic of the history and tradition of the Cadet Corps. The right to wear the Citadel class ring (“The Ring”)
must be earned by study, great sacrifice and loyal service.
|SCULPTURE OF THE CITADEL CLASS
Charleston since 1804. This historic market is Charleston’s #1 most
visited attraction. If you are to buy only one memento of your visit
to Charleston, head straight to the market’s
“basket ladies” and purchase a sweetgrass basket. Made from indigenous bulrush, sweetgrass baskets
are now among the nation’s most prized cultural souvenirs.
WEAVING A SWEETGRASS BASKET
bridge, ranking 63rd in the world. (A cable-stayed bridge has one or more
towers, or pylons, from which cables
support the bridge deck.) This cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River
opened to traffic in 2005 and connects downtown Charleston
for a series of thirteen colorful historic
houses on East Bay Street. This picturesque section of town got its name
from the pastel colors in which the homes were painted. Rainbow Row represents the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in
the United States.
|HOMES ALONG RAINBOW ROW|
is the intersection of Meeting and Broad Streets. Robert Ripley, an American cartoonist and entrepreneur who created
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, coined that term in the 1930s. St. Michael’s
Episcopal Church, Charleston City Hall, Charleston
County Courthouse, and the United States
Post Office/Federal Courthouse occupy the four corners.
area bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, stretches along the lower shores
of the Charleston Peninsula. When the two rivers meet they form the
Charleston Harbor. The Battery is known for its stately antebellum homes.
Among the grandest of the houses are the Louis DeSaussure House, the
Roper House, the Charles Drayton House, the Villa Margherita House, and the
Edmonston Alston House.
Historic Landmark and home to America’s oldest formal gardens has been
called “the most important and most interesting garden in America”.
My fellow passengers on the Silver Shadow, who opted for Silversea’s
shore excursion to Middleton Place, were rewarded with a special behind the
scene glimpse of the Middleton House Museum which is furnished with heirlooms
from the Middleton family.
another of Silversea’s interesting shore excursions, gave Silver Shadow
passengers a step back in time to the 1860s and a historical glimpse of the
Civil War in Charleston. Visitors to Fort Sumter can tour the fort’s bastion
and museum. Standing on the ramparts, one can almost hear the tread of
marching feet and the rumble of distant cannon fire.
re-boarding the Silver Shadow, there was time for a delicious Fried Green
Tomato Stack, Layered with Tarragon Crab Salad, washed down with a Dark and
Stormy (rum and ginger beer), at Fleet Landing, adjacent to the ship’s doc
SILVER SHADOW DOCKED ADJACENT TO FLEET’S LANDING RESTAURANT
(or “Chucktown”, as some call it) is a city of infinite grace and
dignity. There is a bewitching soft-edged beauty to this old city.
It is a national treasure where the priceless heritage of the past is preserved
for the future.
PARTY ON SILVER SHADOW
glorious Silversea Silver Shadow sailed from the Carolina coast, an orange
sunset was followed by a hint of golden moonrise. Visions of Scarlet
O’Hara danced in my head and I could almost hear Perry Como crooning, “Carolina
moon keep shining…dreamy Carolina moon.”
Travel Writer, and the winner of 40 National Travel Writer Awards.