Our wheels took us next to the St. Augustine area. Again this proved to be a very touristy site but we settled just outside at Anastasia State Park and made day trips. Our first stop in the City was the Tourist Information Centre where an elderly volunteer lady provided us with more information than we would use but helpful tips on where to go and not to go. Moving very slow because of the heat we headed toward Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. www.nps.gov/casa The Castillo (castle) was initially built by the Spanish in 1672 to protect their empire in America. The construction is unique with it's diamond shaped projections at each corner of the fort. This design eliminated blind spots for the guards and increased the firepower by allowing multiple cannons to fire on the same target. This fortress has served six different flags, survived hurricanes, withstood bombardments but appeared very much like it's final completion in 1756.
We meandered along St.George Street with its original houses and newer replicas. It was very similar to a walk along St. Jacob's Main Street or Niagara on the Lake. One interesting site was St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine. It gave an explanation of the early Greek immigrants to the United States.
We continued along our walking tour and viewed Ponce de Leon Hotel - now Flagler College. This was a very prestigious hotel built between 1885-1887
by Henry Flagler. Mr. Flagler was a busy man back in the 1880's when he constructed a sister hotel to the Ponce de Leon. This hotel named the Alcazar is now the home of City Hall. Before leaving St. Augustine we stopped at the San Sabastian Winery to tour and sample some Floridian wines. Wines are produced with the native Florida Muscadine grapes. They proved to be a little sweeter than our palattes were used to.
The next stop Tybee Island in Georgia to prepare for the visit of family.