Friday, December 23, 2011
Tourist day yesterday. Was exhausted last night.
First stop was Ft. Matanzas National Monument. The fort is located 15 miles South of St. Augustine on the the Matanzas River (a part of the Intracoastal Waterway).
Construction of the fort was started in 1740, There were about 7 soldiers stationed at the fort. They served 30 day tours.
To visit the fort, park at the Visitor's Center along Route A1A. At the Visitor's Center. the National Park Service operates a shuttle ferry service across the Intracoastal Waterway to Ft. Matenzas. Being a very small (but important) fort, your tour will last 45 minutes, including the boat rides. There is no admission fees at the monument,
When we got to St. Augustine, it was lunch time. Parked in the garage at Old Town. Had lunch at the Mill Top Tavern. Good food, not "fast" food. The waitress told us it would take a bit before we get our food.
Next was Castilla de San Marcos - a fort at the inlet to St. Augustine. A bit longer self-guided tour. According to the National Park Service web sire, "A bastion of the largest empire ever created, the Castillo was built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World."
Spent time to walk through the fort and on the roof. A great view of the inlet.
The last stop yesterday was the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Sampled the water. We were there just in time to see that last demonstrations for the day. We watch the demonstration of firing a period gun
From the gun firing, we were just in time for the demonstration of firing of a breach-loaded cannon. By this time, we were tired. Looked at the peacocks (even 2 white peacocks), stopped in the gift shop and headed to the house.