Recommended, 2020

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Magic Moments: A journey to the southern states of the USA

The Oak Alley Plantation is located right on the Mississippi between the historic towns of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She has been the location for over ten films, including Gone with the Wind.
Photo: Corbis

In the footsteps of Scarlett O 'Hara

Here in the southern states of the US is still summer. He lets the clocks tick slower - and a leisurely dive into the magical time of "Gone with the Wind".

Do I still dream? When I open my eyes, I look at the deep blue sky. In front of the window rises an oak, hung with Spanish moss. Like a statue of "Gone with the Wind" ... I pinch myself - and am actually awake. Because just fulfilled for me a long-cherished dream. Ever since I devoured Margaret Mitchell's novel about the stubborn Scarlett, the reluctant Ashley, and the wonderful Rhett Butler, I know I'd like to get there someday-to the magical south of the United States . And now I am here. In Atlanta, the capital of the state of Georgia.

Where else could the journey begin, if not where the dying book came from? First, I visit the former home of Margaret Mitchell on Peachtree Street. The writer lived here from 1925 to 1932. Next door, in the "Movie Museum", I take a look at the pink corset that Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett. See the green hat Rhett Scarlett brought from Paris and skim through the list of those killed in Gettysburg - just like in the movie Scarlett and Ashley's wife Melanie, anxious to find Ashley's name.

The nights I spend in the "Georgian Terrace Hotel". At that time, the premiere party of "Gone with the Wind" took place here - a glittering party in which only the white actors were allowed to participate. For in 1939 Georgia was still strictly segregated.

From Atlanta I make a detour to nearby Jonesboro, where the soundtrack of "Gone with the Wind" sounds in the museum. Like the town of Marietta, Jonesboro calls itself the home of Tara, the plantation of the O'Hara family. But Mitchell was a writer enough to cover her tracks. The true Tara was only in her head.

My journey takes me further to the coast. I drive via Charleston (South Carolina) to Savannah (Georgia), the great lady of the south: eccentric and exotic, with a penchant for ghost faith and as full of joie de vivre as Scarlett herself. Savannah's heart is made up of 24 squares shading and flourishing huge trees Azaleas grace.

On my way to New Orleans I stop in Biloxi, Mississippi. The small coastal town with colonial architecture attracts with long yellow sandy beaches .

Further west, the marshland of Louisiana is waiting for me. I leave the car and explore the jungle-like landscape with its many rivers and lakes on a guided boat tour.

Then I finally reach New Orleans. I eat in the French Quarter, let me drift through the streets. Listen to the jazz, which is actually played everywhere, and admire the houses with their incomparable O'Hara charm.

Before my journey ends, I drive across the country back to Georgia. I long for some rest. Milledgeville, the place where actors Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh learned the Southern Twang, that thoughtful accent they needed for the movie "Gone with the Wind" seems perfect for me. And I'm right: magnolia blossoms greet me in front of wonderful villas. Terraces invite you to spend whole days on them. That's exactly what I wanted. Like Clark and Vivien, I'm sitting here now. Let the ice cubes in my glass ring in time with the rocking of my rocking chair. And notice: The magic of the old South has me firmly under control. It's magical, fascinating - and a movie-ready ending to my journey before I return to everyday life via Atlanta.

Southern Tips

Arrival: With Air France (www.airfrance.de) daily via Paris to Atlanta (from 675 Euro). Rental car z. B. about holiday cars.

Package: 13-day bus tour "Gone with the Wind" for 1759 Euro p. In double room incl. Flight from / to Frankfurt, 12 nights and entrance fees (www.fti.de).

Information and brochures: in German under www.GeorgiaOnMyMind.de www.NewOrleansPlantationCountry.com

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