A few towns in Georgia form the antebellum trail, that is, seven historic communities that escaped being burned during the civil war and Sherman’s March to the Sea and that are a show case for the most beautiful architecture. Madison is the jewel of Georgia’s antebellum trail and remains full of history.It appears that Sherman knew a Madison citizen, Joshua Hill, who interceded in name of the town and asked that it be spared. And so it was and we are lucky that it was for it is oh so pretty. During my trip I wanted to experience small town America and southern hospitality. A small town seemed like the best place for it and I chose Madison.
I went to yoga a few times and once I got past the Michel Jackson and Supertramp music playing in the background which perhaps is a southern thing, I enjoyed the classes and met lots of people. Everyone introduced themselves to me and asked where I was from and was very interested. I was invited out to lunch, dinner and taken to the Botanical gardens in Athens which was very pleasant. I realised that to get to know small town America 2 weeks was not nearly enough, it takes a few days for people to get to know you. Still during my 2 weeks everyone was very friendly and curious. Couldn’t quite believe I was staying in town for so long as most people only stay for a couple of days. Lisa the lady running the Saffold B&B was an angel, as was her husband Tony. They took me on a fun drive on their 1929 A Ford model and we had lunch in Greensboro which has a very old jail. Another day we visited her friend Linda who owns the Lions Gate Alpaca Farm. They are so much smaller than I expected and then realised I was expecting llamas which yes, are so much bigger. Alpacas seemed cute and placid. We had the most sumptuous afternoon tea and chatted for ages. Small town America was everything I wanted it to be and it was lovely. Ok yes, I was invited to church once but it is a small town in the south, so it was expected. I didn’t go but there were no bible bashing, just very gentle, easy, welcoming folk.
The town is just precious and I admit that though I expected to be pretty never imagined it would be like this. I walked around aimlessly for ages, street after street, just admiring all the pretty houses listening to the courthouse bells telling the time. As lovely as it was by the end of 2 weeks I was ready to move on. There is not much to do and shops and restaurants close freakishly early, some at 4pm or 5pm. And then, are only open from Wednesday to Saturday. Time to head for the big city.