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!
Lighthouse copyright Toni Hooper 2013 photo app used is SimplyHDR HD
The lighthouse tower stands 175 feet high. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse began as the Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse with the purchase of ten acres of land on March 21, 1883. The lighthouse tower design was based on Light-House Board standard plans with modifications made for the specific site. The lantern room was based on the design used at Florida’s Fowey Rocks Lighthouse. Tragically, Chief Engineer Orville E. Babcock and three others drowned in the inlet when construction began in 1883. Depsite this setback, the tower was completed three years later in 1886.
The drive from Ormond takes about 20 minutes down A1A. We aren’t doing much this trip. We’ve been sitting on the beach and taking it easy. Last night we went to see the greyhounds race, fun but no winners. Today we took a drive to the lighthouse. Interesting trip. After climbing around 300 steps we got to the top. What a view, worth the steps. Then back to the condo to relax and have a cocktail as the sun sets on the water. Another day in paradise.
Look closely and you can see the people below. What a view.
Just wanted to give you a few more photos to enjoy.
The field of wheat was taken behind Loftus Hall before our tour. There are a couple more at Hook Lighthouse and surrounding coast. As they say, “this picture just doesn’t do it justice! The crest on the back of the boat says “kiss my ass” in Gaelic, don’t know if you can see the little leprechaun bottom!
We got up this morning and the weather in Wexford was dreadful. We decided to go to Hook Head anyway. What a great day! We were on the photo walk with Paul Freeny, who is a local photographer. We started at Hook Head Lighthouse. It is the oldest operating lighthouse in world. It’s over 800 years old, and was started long ago by the monks to guide ships on the Irish sea. The new lighthouse is built over the old original lighthouse.
We went down the road a way to a spot in the road called Slade. There is an old castle that no one takes care of. Such a shame to me but I guess there are so many ruins here that they aren’t as special. The photo with the truck and castle below is at Slade.
From there we went to Loftus Hall, a beautiful old home that had fallen into ruins. About a year ago a couple bought it and are working hard to renovate and open it for tourists. It is supposed to be the most haunted house in Ireland. We couldn’t tour the house because of the work, but we did get a guided tour outside, and in one room. There is a story about a stranger who came up from the sea, and the family gave him shelter. The daughter fell madly in love with the stranger, and one night they were playing cards and she dropped a card. As she bent down under the table she noticed he had a cloven foot! It was the devil! He shot up through the roof, and it could never be repaired! The girl never married and stayed in her room for the rest of her life.
Our last stop was in Duncannon, where there was an old fort. Dunn means fort in Gaelic. From there, after a pub visit, we came back to Wexford. We met the group at T. Morrisey’s for, you guessed it, a beer!