Sunday, October 16, 2011


We decided to go to the Fort today, officially known as the Castillo de San Marcos. We had been there years ago, but had passed it up on our last trip here and had not really planned to go this time, but the lure was too great. It is a greatly preserved fort from the period. . . it was built in the 1600's and gives a glimpse of what life was like for the soldiers whose job was to protect the city of St. Augustine.

We were in luck because they were firing the canon today, so I got some pictures and a movie of the actual firing. The video is way too big to upload, but suffice to say, it was pretty neat to watch. What is incredible is that the cannon could fire accurately for one-and-a-half miles! One of the other canon has a range of three miles. Wow! The canon firing is a ceremony which depicts the actual procedures used by the Spanish to keep the soldiers in readiness for any potential conflicts.

We continued our walk around the top of the fort, from which the canon that were spaced around the walls would fire down upon the invaders. The fort has the distinction of never having been taken by an opposing army. It was surrendered by treaty a couple times, but it was ably defended by its design and the soldiers who defended it.

The ground level included the parade grounds and various rooms, including troops quarters, an artillery room, chapel, powder magazine, and a latrine. The tour is self-guided and there are numerous displays which tell the story of the fort. It was an interesting lesson in history and a greatly preserved piece of our history. It is well worth a stop if you are in this area.

We were parked on the waterfront, so walking to/from our car allowed us to enjoy the breeze off the ocean and to look for dolphins. We didn't see any today, but we did see several yesterday while we were on the tour tram.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the old section of St. Augustine. Parts of it remind me of Key West. We did different streets today and got to see the Spanish military hospital. We also did a bit of shopping, stopping in and browsing; but true to form, we didn't buy a thing except lunch! Hah. We just have no room to put anything new. I took a picture of "Treasury Street." This is the narrowest street in town. It is an actual street and was purposely made narrow. The bank was located down this street and they wanted to make it difficult for bank robbers to make a quick get-a-way.

When we left there, we drove up to where the "Old Jail" is located. Since we had visited the jail the other night on the "Ghosts and Graveyards" tour, we went into the St. Augustine museum instead. This was a very small museum, but we were pleasantly surprised at the displays and the exhibits. We had almost passed on this, but now are glad we took the time to go through it. It was a brief look into life in Florida during an earlier time.

Tomorrow is moving day. We are headed down to Ormond Beach.

Till next time. . .



The Good Luck Duck said...

I love St. Augustine! We did a recent day at Anastasia S.P. and the beach was nearly deserted. Heaven!

Dale said...

We really like St. Augustine as well. We tried staying at Anastasia SP a few years ago and the mosquitoes drove us away. It was a nice beach and all, but we couldn't stand the bugs.