Via Newport, with its swanky turn-of-the-century millionaire mansions on famous Ocean Drive, we take the ferry from New London to the Hamptons. We still know this easternmost part of Long Island from our business days, when we were often in New York for business and made recreational trips out there. Even if the weather doesn’t quite play along this time, we really like the combination of long, lonely beaches, a classy ambience, cozy little brick houses with beautiful gardens and the proximity to New York. Undoubtedly also one of the worldwide destinations where we would like to live for a few months after our trip around the world.
After a fascinating but also very strenuous stay in New York which Karin, as an old connoisseur of this city, had prepared very well and which Shujaa and the driver also mastered “with distinction” (Blog New York), we continue to Washington D.C. with a short stopover in Philadelphia.
Here we find a very quiet place to stay in a side street, just over 200 meters away from the White House. The Secret Service, which is present everywhere, drives past several times but leaves us unmolested. So much on the subject of “security” in the vicinity of the White House…we just wonder how you can park here for two days with such a big truck. Visiting the numerous monuments and sights, including the Capitol, is exciting… but it takes time in the extensive area, so that our “wandering watch” clocks up several kilometers. We therefore decide to head to Arlington Cemetery, which is particularly impressive in its autumn colors, by rental bike.
All in all, we are surprised about the interesting “history” of the Americans, on which Europeans tend to smile at. Travelling can also be very educational 😉.
After the many intense city sightseeing trips in the recent weeks (Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC) we strive for nature and seclusion. Never before on our trip around the world we had such a concentration of people, culture and infrastructure. We find this nature in Shenandoah N.P. with its Skyline Drive. Here we drive on an impressive panoramic road for almost 150 miles southwards – always along the top of the Appalachian ridge, before we reach the wine country around Charlottesville.
There we spend two great days at the winery of friends of friends, of course with wine tasting, interesting conversations and delicious food. We are also happy because our new friends will soon be moving to Mallorca.
Stocked with great wines and beautiful memories, we head towards the Outerbanks in North Carolina. The Outerbanks are a narrow chain of islands 280 km long and often only a few hundred meters wide, some 50 km away from the mainland. Most of the islands are connected by high bridges, but we also have to take a ferry twice. The further south we go, the more remote it gets and at some point, the islands become completely national park area. Since you are not allowed to wild camp in these parks and Shujaa unfortunately cannot swim on the sea, we need to go to a campground on Ocracoke Island; the first during the last 2.5 months since we have been in North America. And it’s not as bad as anticipated: the campground is right on the endlessly long sandy beach, sheltered behind the dunes and offers adequate privacy.
We are getting further and further south: we see the first palm trees, the temperatures are rising steadily and with the pretty cities of Charleston, Beaufort and Savannah we have arrived in the southern states: old, magnificent wooden houses with big verandas and huge, old oak trees, overgrown with the ubiquitous “Spanish moss” form a cinematic setting. Again and again, we see old plantations along the way – time sometimes seems to have stood still here. Of course, we also visit one of the most famous and important ones: The Boon Hall Plantation, which also served as the film set for “North & South” and also prompts us to download this old movie for our evening entertainment program.
In Charleston, the rainy foothills of what will hopefully be the last hurricane of this season reach us and we spend the day visiting the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, which is right next to our parking space – an interesting and completely different experience.
Savannah is also an absolutely worth seeing and pretty city. We really like the arrangement of the many green squares and the old villas. Our overnight place is just outside downtown, directly on the Savannah River. What we didn’t notice at first were the huge container ships that were passing right by us. Suddenly it gets pretty dark in Shujaa and when we look outside, we have to laugh… because we are always quite meticulous when choosing our places to stay and try to take all potential disturbing factors into account. Fortunately, the vessels are surprisingly quiet. Leaving town on a Sunday we visit a gospel church. The music and the singing are simply unique. Karin simply searched for a church on Google. However, towards the end the event turns out to be an incredibly aggressive call for donations with animations that almost make us pull out our (non-existent) checkbook.
After a detour to the fashionable Golden Isles, we leave Georgia and reach the Sunshine State of Florida. Unfortunately, without the promised “Sunshine”, but we are in good mood.