Charleston is a fascinating city. We drove from Myrtle Beach down highway 17. We stopped at Huntington Beach State Park and visited Atalaya, the home of Anna and Archie Huntington. Archie was a philanthropist and writer. Anna was a twentieth century sculptor known for her realistic animal sculptures. They built the modern castle on land that had been a rice plantation. It’s a fascinating work of art. Anna loved all animals and she was a breeder of Scottish Deerhounds. There were also stalls for the horses, and even pens for the occasional bear. Anna would only use live models for her sculptures. It’s difficult to get a proper perspective of the house without being there. It’s like a giant labyrinth.
We entered Charleston over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It’s a suspension bridge that crosses the Cooper River. It’s quite impressive. It is a cable-stayed bridge that’s 575 feet high. The total length is 13,200 feet!
After settling in at the hotel we went for a walk to see what was nearby. Old Charleston reminds me of New Orleans. It’s a beautiful city with lots of old churches and historic buildings. The harbor park is beautiful and you can see Ft. Sumter in the distance and the USS Yorktown across the bay. We had dinner at Old Towne Grill & Seafood. It’s a Greek restaurant so of course we ate there. The owner was actually visiting Greece so I didn’t get to practice my Greek. The food was incredible! The avgolemeno soup was the best I’ve ever eaten. (No offense to my Annoula). I bought a large jar of their spices to bring home. Dan had moussaka and I had the gyro plate. We got Greek potatoes as our side. We did not leave hungry! I almost forgot the mention the dolmathes for an appetizer, along with a delicious Greek white wine.
We ended the night at the market. On Fridays and Saturdays they have local artisans and there were three buildings full of paintings, jewelry, stained glass and many unique items. Oh and the pralines…..well I bought a pound of them. They told me they would be good for 14 days! We’ll see if they make it home. I bought this lamp, can’t really explain how they put it together. The lighthouse painting is done on reclaimed tin from the area by an artist named James Trimm. He paints only with his fingers and fingernail.
What a great first day!