Sunday, January 18, 2009

Charleston Amtrak Station (Jan 17, 2009)

Here I am…waiting again for the Amtrak train. This is a usual occurrence with Amtrak. Except for their trains which run to and from New York, none of the others seem to make it on time. Plus they are not economical. But still I look up Amtrak, and sometimes I do end up getting a good deal. This one was awesome – Charleston to Savannah in around 2 hours at 21 USD…except factoring in the delay - it right now looks like 2.5 hrs, and I would swear it will run into 3.

One more rant – The SkyWest plane was so tiny that I was not able to place my backpack in the overhead locker. So I decided to dump it at my feet, and it couldn’t even be stowed under the seat. I had packed all my clothes in that, but still…dammit I should be able to fit it in somewhere without having to do circus in my seat. The stewardess was like push it in...push it in. Oh the pain!

Anyway - enough of the rambling. Charleston was cool. Really historic and just walking in the city takes me back to those movies where they show those old buildings. Took a carriage tour which was so-so for 20USD, but at least it was an experience. First time on a horse carriage, and the guide was decent. The better trip of the day was the cruise to Fort Sumter. It was worth the 15USD and I did learn a lot about the civil war. It seems that the first shot of the civil war was shot against this fort. And do not miss the crab here. I who likes the lobsters in New England would still prefer them, but this was pretty good. I ordered from a place called Hyman’s seafood, which is quite reasonable and in Downtown Charleston. My menu looked like this: She Crab Soup, Crab Dip and Deviled crab. I have a feeling it is quite apparent what I liked here.

Missed the southern country cooking as they call it but I will try to get it in Savannah.

Here is Charleston in a nutshell: Airport to any carriage tour in Downtown costs around 40USD, which was quite expensive. The driver though was a nice lady named Sheila who called me good looking, so no complaintsJ. She also gave me a coupon for free crab dip at Hayman’s (I suppose she gives it to everyone who takes the cab from the airport). Carriage tour as mentioned above 20 USD, and then the Fort Sumter tour from the Charleston aquarium is 15USD. I as always was running for time and so ran from spot to spot. Next stop was Rainbow Row, which is a nice picture place, and the Battery with all its canons. All of these are walkable, including the restaurant I mentioned. I had to reach the Amtrak station by 7.15pm and so it was tight as I had landed at 11.30 in the morning. Had to take a cab from Hymans to Amtrak and imagine for the same distance as from the Airport to Downtown I paid a whole 11USD. 40 vs 11...what the hell!

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