April 10, 2013

Day 178 - April 9, 2013: Last look at Charleston

What a beautiful sunny day! While Anne walked the shopping streets, I rode my bike around the southern end of the peninsula, checking out other marinas as I went. Later, we both biked the area south of Broad St. to admire the historic homes.

Charleston, the Holy City, has many churches that have existed here since the founding. Two of them, with high spires that can be seen for miles, are among the oldest and most recognizable. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, completed in a German Gothic architecture in 1872, has a spire that is 297 ft tall. When built it was the highest structure in all of South Carolina. As the city grew, Charleston decided no other buildings would be allowed that were taller than this church. St. Michael's Episcopal Church is a classic example of Colonial American architecture and is the oldest church in Charleston, having been completed in 1761. We went inside St. Michael's and saw the pew used by George Washington and, years later, by Robert E. Lee.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church (1872)
St. Michael's Episcopal Church (1761)
During our stay in Charleston, we've spent a lot of time admiring sweetgrass baskets made by the Gullah, descendants of slaves. Coiled basketry appeared in South Carolina in the late 17th century, and the baskets were first used for winnowing rice (separating grain from chaff.) The baskets we liked best, and which were the most expensive, had a combination of sweetgrass, bulrush, long leaf pine needles, and palmetto, and were woven very tightly.

Sweetgrass Baskets
Anne with a Smithsonian-recognized basket weaver
This evening we had dinner with Linda and Tom, who live on Seabrook Island, south of Charleston.  We met them several years ago while on vacation in the Amazon jungle of Peru. Linda and Tom took us to Hominy Grill where we had a delicious meal and a good time catching up. We were glad our paths crossed again!

Anne with Linda and Tom



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