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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 25.7928, -80.1349
Our last internal flight, our last rental car - a shiny blue Hyundai - our last going the wrong way out of the airport!
Our hotel is as close to the beach as you can get, right in the middle of the Art Deco area with scores of small hotels built in the art-deco style after the depression of the 1930s to attract tourists. They served to house Jewish refugees, Cuban immigrants, troops during WWII and fell out of favour but have now mostly been restored and put back to use as hotels. (All that from a video at the Art-DEco area visitor centre). Miami Beach is tourist town par excellence, cars and motor-bikes cruise up and down, the side with the hotels is lined with bars and restaurants and clubs many of them pumping out very loud music. The hotel provides guests with ear plugs! They don't help much, but the music failed to keep us awake. We had taken the opportunity of being back in a big city to go to a movie and see Denzel Washingtn in 'Flight', Liz wasn't impressed.
Saturday we explored the area including the Art DEco Buildings, the Wolfsonian Museum, we hired bikes from
the Miami equivalent of Boris Bikes to ride to the Holocaust Monument, the Botanical Gardens and generally to explore, but really a fairly quiet day. Liz would have been up for beach time but it proved very windy and somewhat cloudy.
Sunday and Monday both dedicated to exploring the Everglades, Sunday the Northern part of the National Park with a 'tram tour', various short walks, an air-boat ride. Monday the southern part of the park as we drove to the Florida Keys. Lots of alligators - within touching distance for anyone foolhardy enough - egrets, several kinds of heron, anhingas (like a cormorant but prettier - also known as snake fish, snakes, vultures, mangroves etc. The Everglades is actually a vast river, eight miles or more wide but only a foot or so deep that flows through grassland with bits of drier and dry land here and there supporting trees.
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