“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center
With our bellies and taste buds satisfied, we drove back to Charleston to prepare for a tour of Fort Sumter which would start at the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center which was located right on the Cooper River.
We luckily found parking only blocks away. As we had gotten there early, we had enough time to explore the area which was gorgeously designed, with a small park, benches under brick awnings, and beautiful flowers trying to bloom. The Center itself is huge showcasing the history of Charleston and Fort Sumter with a colorful picture exhibit.
Fort Sumter is an island fort that served as part of the seacoast defense system that the American colonies built after the War of 1812. It was planned to help fortify Charleston against any coastal attacks, but was incomplete when South Carolina Seceded from the Union.
Two major battles were fought here between the union and Confederate soldiers, leaving much of the fort in ruins. The army worked to rebuild it, but it turned into a fruitless endeavor, despite the updated modifications. For a time it worked as an unmanned lighthouse station, and then finally in 1966 it was turned over to the National Register of Historic Places and became a National Monument.
Because Fort Sumter is an Island, visitors can only get there by ferry from the education center which is run by the National Park Service. The ferry ride is a thirty minute long tour that explains the history of Fort Sumter as well as the history of Charleston.
I am not one to shy away from a boat ride and was super excited that we got to take one to the fort.
Alas the voice over tour was over overshadowed by Birds.
While it wasn’t Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” it very well could have turned into it with about a gazillion seagulls following the ferry in search of fish. It was oddly captivating and I took as many pictures as their were birds as they swooped and dived in the boat’s wake.
Exploring The Fort
We had about forty-five minutes of exploration of the Fort. The Fort is tiny! Probably the smallest one I have been too. Because much of it is in ruins, there weren’t many rooms to go into, though you could climb the walls and catch glimpses of Charleston, Fort Moultrie, and that really ugly lighthouse as the fog once again began to roll in.
There was also a small beach which we explored, and I even found some gorgeous shells.
All to soon it was time to return to the ferry and head back to the Harbor where once again the seagulls were following us.
Sunset at the Battery
Despite the fog and chance of drizzle, we decided to head to the Battery to see if we couldn’t watch the sunset. Call me crazy, but I actually love when there are clouds in the sky for sunrise and sunset. It creates beautiful colors and takes them from being ordinary to extraordinary. While there were perhaps to many clouds that night, it was still beautiful as we walked around.
The best part was we even caught two dolphins swimming in the Harbor. It was absolutely magical watching them swim with the sun setting.
We grabbed dinner at a delicious modern sandwich cafe that served vegan and gluten-free options before calling it a night.
Do you like Ferry or Boat Rides? have you ever seen dolphins before?