Charlotte is on North Carolina's southwestern border, so you can be in South Carolina in minutes.
After a three-hour drive, we arrived in Charleston, SC. When people think of Charleston, they immediately think of the movie "Gone with the Wind", even though the film wasn't shot in this region. (In many places, but especially in California.) That was the first surprise.
On May 5, 2019, upon our arrival, we first drove to a suburban hotel (Aloft). Well, we absolutely did not like this place. Neither his mood nor his arrangement, nothing. While it still fits on a two or three-day business trip, it is by no means comfortable in the long run. Breakfast is not included in the price, but the paid breakfast offer is poor (and expensive). We stayed here for two nights and then moved to a suburban hotel that was much friendlier. This is the Residence Inn. It was better because we got an apartment room (equipped with a fridge, microwave, sink, and crockery) for the same price. Breakfast was included in the price, and dinner was offered free of charge almost daily. This only became known to us on site. Don't think of anything special, but there were always a few different dishes (hot dog, salad, pasta, that kind of thing). But what was even more surprising was that they provided free soft drinks and alcohol (beer, wine). (Alcohol doesn't come cheap here in America - so it came as a surprise, at least to us.) After discovering this possibility, we tried to have dinner there. 😄 But when we didn't eat there, we mostly went to Ruby Tuesday because this place was recommended before and it's closest to the hotel. There was a funny story here too. One day we only talked about "where are the Hungarians" because everyone says they are everywhere… Well, that evening, it turned out that they were sitting right next to us at the table. So we found them!
But let's get back to the arrival. Since it was a weekend, we used the time immediately and checked out the city center. The second surprise came here because I didn't like the city at first glance. I thought there would be sea, palm trees, etc., and love would be at first sight. But it didn't happen that way. When we drove through the city, it gave a completely different impression; I didn't like it at all.
Parking was easy; we already pinned a parking lot near the Waterfront Park; you can reach a lot of places from there. (By the way, our experience with parking is that the price varies from place to place. We paid $7 for 2 or 3 hours this time.) Waterfront Park is a lovely little spot on the banks of the Cooper River. One of the attractions is the famous Pineapple Fountain. We walked through the park and discovered the small alleys that made for a real journey back in time.
Everything that greeted us here was very different from the cities we have seen in America so far. The city is reminiscent of colonial times: narrow, cobbled streets. We could almost see the ancient past coming to life on the streets and porches of the houses: the enslavers of the plantations, the ladies in contemporary clothing. These centuries-old houses are illuminated by gas lamps in the evening.
We remembered the historical facts, and even this walk made us very thoughtful. The city is very cozy and beautiful, for sure. We would have been very interested in the Old Slave Mart Museum. Still, unfortunately, we couldn't get there during opening hours. It is not open on weekends and can only come during working hours on weekdays, but then we worked. This building used to be a slave market and is now a museum, but unfortunately, we can't tell you anything about that. We wandered for hours in this historic atmosphere when we returned to the park.
In the meantime, we were getting hungry and looking for somewhere to get some simple food. Eventually, we walked into an Irish Pub, which was pretty noisy, but the food was good, it wasn't expensive, but it's worth mentioning the decoration, as the whole pub is "wallpapered" with one-dollar bills.
Then we returned to the hotel. The city came closer to us on the way back through our daily experiences.