Hank – Today was a sightseeing day. We began with the Anastasia Lighthouse and Museum. (I got the senior AND the military discount. Whoo-hoo!) We climbed to the top and got a great view of St Augustine and the surrounding waterways.
We had a late breakfast and rode three miles into town. We toured the Castillo de San Marcos fort and got caught on the history of the Spanish, English, Spanish, and American ownership of Florida. (We got in for free because I bought an annual pass last May, which has saved us a bundle now.)
We rode down to The Old Jail and checked out everything except going through the jail itself. We prefer to view exhibits ourselves instead of going on a scheduled tour where someone tells you about everything and then ushers you out.
Next up was the Spanish Military Hospital Museum. We really wanted to see it but it’s a guided tour. Our tour guide talked as fast as that old FedEx commercial covering an hour’s worth of material in 30 minutes and then ushered us out. It would be more enjoyable to view at a relaxed pace.
We rode all over town to see what else we could find. I wasn’t feeling well so Kathy went in to the various buildings and took pictures while I sat with the bikes.
On the way back to camp we picked up some barbecue and had a very good dinner meal in the tent.
Kathy – It was a sunny and a little chilly day in St. Augustine. Temps were in the mid to high 50’s and windy. It helped that the bike rides to the different sites warmed me up.
The Lighthouse was very well maintained and we enjoyed the easy hike up. Only 219 steps. We weren’t even out of breath when we got to the top. The Castillo de San Marcos Fort was really cool tooh. Loved the history of this amazing place. Learning about how St. Augustine was controlled by the Spanish, then the English, then the Spanish again before ultimately becoming Florida and part of America was pretty interesting.
The Old Jail was a fun place to visit but it was a little too touristy for us. It had lots of shops with St. Augustine tourist trinkets a jail themed items as well. Just a bit over the top for us. We really just wanted to learn about the jail history. We didn’t want to do the 1.5 hour guided tour so we got as much information as we could without spending that much time listening to the tour guide. It would have been nice but we had limited time and much to see in this beautiful city.
We were both looking forward to seeing the Spanish Military Hospital Museum. It only had the guided tour available. Our guide talked much to fast for me to read his lips and hear all he had to say. I should have figured it when I saw him take a big drink from his water bottle, sigh and then start talking nonstop for 30 minutes. He ushered us from room to room rather quickly. What I did hear was interesting but I would have much rather paid extra money for the slowed down version.
Onward we went to many different churches, cathedrals and historical sites around St. Augustine. Put in a total of 15 miles on the bike today. Two of my favorites were the Cathedral of St. Augustine (absolutely spectacular inside) and Flagler College (which used to be Ponte De Leon Hotel). Flagler a wealthy man from the Midwest moved to St. Augustine and built the hotel which later closed and then eventually became a college that was named after him.
After riding around town seeing so many great places we ended our riding at the beach near our campsite. It never gets old looking and listening to the ocean. It was a history filled gorgeous day in St. Augustine. So happy we spent an extra day here.
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