Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 28, 2017

Fort Matanzas

The clear waters of Matanzas Inlet are somewhat calmer than the busy bay front in St. Augustine’s downtown, and much more peaceful too. The boardwalk and various walking trails provide a great opportunity to see natural Florida without forking over an arm and a leg. Here at the dock you can see the smooth sand and the coquina rocks, as well as the dock, the ferryboat, and a wild tangle of trees beyond. If you come here, you won’t want to leave.

Castillo de San Marcos

Here I'm standing in one of the rooms on the north wall, looking out at the east wall. The cannon called “El Milanes” can be seen, as well as its stack of cannonballs. This particular piece was forged in Seville in 1764. If you can visit the Castillo and peek out of the barred windows without capturing a dozen strangers’ heads, then congratulations . . . you’re lucky!

(c)2015-2017 St Augustine Fridays

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 21, 2017

St. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse keeper’s house was begun in 1876 and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture. The brick wall and curving branches and palm fronds provide a stunning tropical frame, and yes, that blue figure beside the middle branch is indeed a person, not a ghost . . . I’m pretty sure.

Anastasia State Park

This was interesting to see: a rubber-like grid laid over the sand for better traction. I saw some people trying to roll their bikes over it . . . not sure how that went. As for walking, it wasn’t so bad, but it was a bit strange at first. Beyond the sand you can see a snack shop, as well as a little gaggle of palms. (What is it about palm trees that makes us wish we could drop everything and pack?) 

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 14, 2017

Castillo de San Marcos

Here’s a view of the Castillo’s north wall seen from the south curtain of the gun deck. Note the contrast of new and old coquina, and the lack of strangers’ heads poking from every available aperture (yet another perk of being some of the first people there in the morning.) The cannon seen at center right is “El Milanes”, forged in Seville in 1764. (Yes, the artillery at the Castillo is authentic, and covers a variety of time periods). Various pieces can be seen on this photo. Fun fact: Before the reconstruction period which ended in 1756, the rooms were smaller and had flat roofs. In the 1740s/50s, each chamber was vaulted and enlarged and the courtyard became much smaller.

Pena-Peck House

The Pena-Peck House along St. George Street is a historic beauty with an interesting past. Once inhabited by Dr. Seth Peck and his family, it’s now owned by the St. Augustine Women’s Exchange and hosts a small, classy gift shop. If you time your visit right, you may be able to tour this home full of 19TH century furnishings, though I’ve never had the opportunity to do so. Be warned that opening times may be subject to small tweaks and you’ll have to hope for the best.

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays