16 Nov 2015

15/11/2015 : Historic downtown Charleston

We'd both been looking forward to seeing the old houses and tree-lined streets of the old part of the city and it didn't disappoint - tranquil, peaceful and the rest of the city seemed a million miles away, not just a few hundred yards,  Most of the houses are built end-on to the road, facing the ocean to make the most of the sea breezes, with property-length verrandahs on every floor to give  somewhere to go day and night to get some air especially in the summer months when the heat is apparently stifling.  The larger mansions are the exception to this orientation, being set back from and face onto the road, but still with balconies and verrandahs.  They were all built in the 18th century of wood, in the main, by successful merchants, plantation owners and the like.

A very attractive neighbourhood with obviously affluent residents, then and now.  We stopped by one end-on house that was for sale for renovation and chatted to a family who were viewing, interested to know the approximate value of it - $1.8 million before the full refurbishment needed.  We thought the prices were about on a par with places such as Bath.

The same people were telling us about the flooding the city experienced several weeks ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin.  Whilst it didn't hit the coast, Charleston did have exceptionally high tides and some of the streets were under 5 feet of water.  People resorted to kayaking along the streets to get around.  Whilst there was no real evidence of the flooding, a number of houses were for sale and we did wonder if this was a direct consequence.

On our travels we walked past the fire station and couldn't resist taking a photo of the gleaming engine.

We're heading south to Beaufort next, still in South Carolina about 60 miles south .... hope we get a good sail down.