My week in Charleston

We have been in Charleston, South Carolina for a week. On the first day we went to the markets where there are a million vendors and my dad bought a book about the history of Charleston. Each day I read a portion relating to what we were doing that day and then we went out touring. On the first day we went to the visitor’s center and bought tickets for the Charleston City bus tour. On the tour we learned all about Charleston’s general history. After that we went to visit Fort Sumter It was very interesting. We traveled there on a boat and our tour guide talked way too much. There was a ranger there who talked about the purpose of Fort Sumter, when it was built, the situation leading up to the Civil War and the fort’s role in the war.

The Market in Charleston

Cobblestone street in Charleston

Fort Sumter, the first shot fired in the Civil War

On the next day, my day and I took the water taxi over to the USS Yorktown which is a US Navy aircraft carrier. We took a tour down below and ate food that WWII soldiers ate — rice, meatballs and cauliflower. We went through the barracks and saw a generator and an engine that took up 5 rooms. We went up onto the flightdeck and saw about 20 planes that landed on the USS Yorktown. Then we went to the bridge and saw the NavStation. It made Troubadour’s NavStation look like an ant’s calculator. From there we went to look at the destroyer and went inside a giant cannon and watched a movie. Then we went over to the bridge on the destroyer. After that we went to the model war base for Vietnam in which American Navy troops camped. Then we got on the water taxi and came home. While I was there, I contemplated the fact my Grandpa Gillman was only 5 years older than I am when he served in World War Two.

The mess hall where we ate

Our yummy lunch.

Graham at the helm

The Yorktown

Today we went to the tiny Old Slave Mart museum. It was on one of only 7 cobblestone streets left in Charleston. Inside were facts about the history of slavery through the Civil war. The highest price fetched for a slave was $1,500 and that was when an African American person was 20. If you were younger or older than that, people would pay less for you. Babies and 60 year olds were only worth $50. We listened to an audio recording of what a slave auction was like. Slaves were hidden behind a curtain until the last minute. Then they could have been made to pull up their shirts or walk around to see if they were fit for work. It was very interesting but disturbing too.

The next day we went on the shuttle to the College of Charleston to see an art exhibit called: Return to the Sea: Saltworks. The artist, Motoi Yama Moto, is from Japan and always works only in salt. The major exhibit is a hurricane made up entirely of salt. It is cool. In a month, the public is invited to dismantle the exhibit by scraping the salt up from the floor and carrying it back to dump it in the ocean.

We were looking forward to one more day in Charleston but Chris Parker, the weatherman for water people said our weather window is for today so now we are scrambling around to get ready.

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